Optimal Cooperative Taxation in the Global Economy
We use the Ramsey and Mirrlees approaches to study how fiscal and trade policy should be set cooperatively when governments must raise revenues with distorting taxes. Free trade and unrestricted capital mobility are optimal. Efficient outcomes can be implemented with taxes only on final consumption goods and labor income. We study alternative tax systems, showing that uniform taxation of household asset returns, and not taxing corporate income yields efficient outcomes. Border adjustments exempting exports from and including imports in the tax base are desirable. Destination and residence ...
Monetary policy with single instrument feedback rules
We consider a standard cash in advance monetary model with flexible prices or prices set in advance and show that there are interest rate or money supply rules such that equilibria are unique. The existence of these single instrument rules depends on whether the economy has an infinite horizon or an arbitrarily large but finite horizon.
Optimal Capital Taxation Revisited
We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed. We allow for a rich set of tax instruments that consists of taxes widely used in practice, including consumption, dividend, capital, and labor income taxes. We restrict policies to respect promises that the government has made in the previous period regarding the current value of wealth. We show that capital should not be taxed if households have preferences that are standard in the macroeconomics literature. We show that Ramsey outcomes that must respect such promises are time consistent. We show that the presumption in the literature ...
Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises with Long Stagnations
We explore quantitatively the possibility of multiple equilibria in a model of sovereign debt crises. The source of multiplicity is the one identified by Calvo (1988). This type of multiplicity has been at the heart of the policy debate through the recent European sovereign debt crisis. Key for multiplicity in the model is a stochastic process for output featuring long periods of either high or low growth. We calibrate the output process in the model using data for the southern European countries that were exposed to the debt crisis. We find that expectations-driven sovereign debt crises are ...
The optimal mix of taxes on money, consumption and income
We determine the optimal combination of taxes on money, consumption and income in transactions technology models where exogenous government expenditures must be financed with distortionary taxes. We show that the optimal policy does not tax money, regardless of whether the government can use as alternative fiscal instruments an income tax, a consumption tax, or the two taxes jointly. These results are at odds with recent literature. We argue that the reason for this divergence is an inappropriate specification of the transactions technology adopted in the literature.
Optimal Capital Taxation Revisited
We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed, arguing that if governments are allowed to use the kinds of tax instruments widely used in practice, for preferences that are standard in the macroeconomic literature, the optimal approach is to never distort capital accumulation. We show that the results in the literature that lead to the presumption that capital ought to be taxed for some time arise because of the initial confiscation of wealth and because the tax system is restricted.
The optimal price of money
The optimal inflation tax is computed in monetary models where money is costly to supply. The models are simple general equilibrium models with money in the utility function or a transactions technology. The inflation tax is a means of raising taxes to finance exogenous government expenditures. The alternative means of revenue are also distortionary. The main point of this article is to show that the robustness of the optimality of the Friedman rule, of a zero nominal interest rate, resides in the assumption that money is produced at zero cost.
Unconventional fiscal policy at the zero bound
When the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates binds, monetary policy cannot provide appropriate stimulus. We show that, in the standard New Keynesian model, tax policy can deliver such stimulus at no cost and in a time-consistent manner. There is no need to use inefficient policies such as wasteful public spending or future commitments to low interest rates.
Nominal debt as a burden on monetary policy
We study the effects of nominal debt on the optimal sequential choice of monetary and debt policy. When the stock of debt is nominal, the incentive to generate unanticipated inflation increases the cost of the outstanding debt even if no unanticipated inflation episodes occur in equilibrium. Without full commitment, the optimal sequential policy is to deplete the outstanding stock of debt progressively until these extra costs disappear. Nominal debt is therefore a burden on monetary policy, not only because it must be serviced, but also because it creates a time inconsistency problem that ...
Money is an experience good: competition and trust in the private provision of money
The interplay between competition and trust as efficiency-enhancing mechanisms in the private provision of money is studied. With commitment, trust is automatically achieved and competition ensures efficiency. Without commitment, competition plays no role. Trust does play a role but requires a bound on efficiency. Stationary inflation must be non-negative and, therefore, the Friedman rule cannot be achieved. The quality of money can be observed only after its purchasing capacity is realized. In this sense, money is an experience good.