Creator: Krusell, Per., Quadrini, Vincenzo., and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor. Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
We use political-equilibrium theory and the neoclassical growth model to compare the quantitative properties of different tax systems. We first explore whether societies which can only use consumption taxes fare better than societies which can only use income taxes. We find that if government outlays are used mainly for redistribution through transfers, then the answer is no, contradicting conventional wisdom in public finance. The reason for this is that when taxes are endogenous, and voted on by a selfish constituency, the distortionary effects of taxation are taken into account in choosing the level of taxation. Hence, political equilibria have the property that taxes which are relatively distortionary will be relatively low. These results are overturned if the government outlays are used only for the providing of public goods, implying that less distortionary taxes give better outcomes. We also investigate the properties of a tax systems in which both consumption and income taxes are used and voted on simultaneously. Since the ability to use more tax instruments allows redistribution with less distortions, the total amount of transfers tends to be higher here than in one-tax systems. Typically, tax systems tend to be self-perpetuating in the sense that changes of the tax system result in a reduction in the welfare of the median voter.
Keyword: Tax, Consumption tax, Tax system, Income tax, and Taxes Subject (JEL): H25 - Taxation, subsidies and revenue - Business taxes and subsidies, E62 - Macroeconomic policy, macroeconomic aspects of public finance, and general outlook - Fiscal policy, and H24 - Taxation, subsidies and revenue - Personal income and other nonbusiness taxes and subsidies
Creator: Ostroy, Joseph M. and Potter, Simon M. Series: Finance, fluctuations, and development Abstract:
We formulate a representative consumer model of intertemporal resource reallocation in which fluctuations in equity prices contribute to the smoothing of consumption flows. Features of the model include (a) an incompletely observable stochastic process of productivity shocks leading to fluctuating confidence of beliefs and (b) technologies involving commitments of a resource good. These features are exploited to show that (1) equities are not a representative form of total wealth and (2) the valuation of currently active firms is not representative of the valuation of all firms. We examine the implications of (1) and (2) to argue that empirical findings for the volatility and 'value shortfall' of equity prices may be consistent with a frictionless representative consumer model having a low degree of risk-aversion. Simulation of a calibrated version of the model for a risk-neutral consumer shows that when the 'data' is analyzed according to current econometric procedures, it is found to exhibit volatility of the same order of magnitude as that found in the actual data, although the model contains no excess volatility.
Keyword: Technological commitments, Equity premium, Uncertainty of beliefs, Excess volatility, and Value shortfall Subject (JEL): G12 - General financial markets - Asset pricing ; Trading volume ; Bond interest rates, E44 - Money and interest rates - Financial markets and the macroeconomy, G14 - General financial markets - Information and market efficiency ; Event studies, and E13 - General aggregative models - Neoclassical
Creator: Goenka, Aditya. and Spear, Stephen E. Series: Finance, fluctuations, and development Abstract:
This paper develops a dynamic model of general imperfect competition by embedding the Shapley-Shubik model of market games into an overlapping generations framework. Existence of an open market equilibrium where there is trading at each post is demonstrated when there are an arbitrary (finite) number of commodities in each period and an arbitrary (finite) number of consumers in each generation. The open market equilibria are fully characterized when there is a single consumption good in each period and it is shown that stationary open market equilibria exist if endowments are not Pareto optimal. Two examples are also given. The first calculates the stationary equilibrium in an economy, and the second shows that the on replicating the economy the stationary equilibria converge to the unique non-autarky stationary equilibrium in the corresponding Walrasian overlapping generations economy. Preliminary on-going work indicates the possibility of cycles and other fluctuations even in the log-linear economy.
Keyword: Overlapping generations model, General equilibirum theory, and Game theory Subject (JEL): D91 - Intertemporal choice and growth - Intertemporal consumer choice ; Life cycle models and saving, C72 - Game theory and bargaining theory - Noncooperative games, and D50 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - General
Creator: Alvarez, Fernando, 1964- and Jermann, Urban J. Series: Endogenous incompleteness Abstract:
We study the asset pricing implications of a multi-agent endowment economy where agents can default on debt. We build on the environment studied by Kocherlakota (1995) and Kehoe and Levine (1993). We present an equilibrium concept for an economy with complete markets and with endogenous solvency constraints. These solvency constraints prevent default, but at the cost of reduced risk sharing. We show that versions of the classical welfare theorems hold for this equilibrium definition. We characterize the pricing kernel, and compare it to the one for economies without participation constraints: interest rates are lower and risk premia depend on the covariance of the idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks.
Keyword: Equilibrium, Default, Solvency constraints, Risk, Shocks, and Assets Subject (JEL): G12 - General financial markets - Asset pricing ; Trading volume ; Bond interest rates and D50 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - General
Creator: Ligon, Ethan., Thomas, Jonathan P., and Worrall, Tim. Series: Endogenous incompleteness Abstract:
This paper studies efficient insurance arrangements in village economies when there is complete information but limited commitment. Commitment is limited because only limited penalties can be imposed on households which renege on their promises. Any efficient insurance arrangement must therefore take into account the fact that households will renege if the benefits from doing so outweigh the costs. We study a general model which admits aggregate and idiosyncratic risk as well as serial correlation of incomes. It is shown that in the case of two households and no storage the efficient insurance arrangement is characterized by a simple updating rule. An example illustrates the similarity of the efficient arrangement to a simple debt contract with occasional debt forgiveness. The model is then extended to multiple households and a simple storage technology. We use data from the ICRISAT survey of three villages in southern India to test the theory against three alternative models: autarky, full insurance, and a static model of limited commitment due to Coate and Ravallion (1993). Overall, the model we develop does a significantly better job of explaining the data than does any of these alternatives.
Keyword: Village economies, Insurance arrangements, Limited commitment, Risk, India, and Agrarian economies Subject (JEL): O15 - Economic development - Human resources ; Human development ; Income distribution ; Migration, O12 - Economic development - Microeconomic analyses of economic development, and D81 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - Criteria for decision-making under risk and uncertainty
Creator: Bednar, Jenna. Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
Federal systems are crippled by power grabbing between central and regional governments, as well as burden-shifting schemes between regions. Existing models of federalisms assume regional diversity to account for inter-regional tension. However, these models set aside entirely the problem of inter-level competition. This paper presents a unified framework for understanding threats to federal stability. The model's n + 1 structure accomodates both dimensions of federal instability. Furthermore, this paper is able to offer a theoretical alternative to explanations of instability that rely upon regional diversity or citizen patriotism; identically selfish preferences, in the decentralized setting, can generate instability. Additionally, under certain institutional conditions, the paper offers an equilibrium that embraces the persistence of competition in a stable federation.
Keyword: Federalism, Decentralization, and Federal instability Subject (JEL): H11 - Structure and scope of government - Structure, scope, and performance of government and H77 - State and local government ; Intergovernmental relations - Intergovernmental relations ; Federalism ; Secession
Creator: Platt, Glenn J. Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
This paper develops a model of firm location where communities differ by exogenous endowments of a factor of production. Firms choose to locate based on local subsidies to production. Community and firm optimal strategies are then examined. Through the introduction of information asymmetries about the communities' endowments, equilibrium bidding strategies for communities are found. The results show that auction institutions used by firms may in fact be signaling on the part of communities. These results also indicate that community bids reveal information, and restrictions on this bidding may do more harm than good.
Keyword: Tax breaks, Subsidies, Plant location, Tax competition, and Asymmetric information Subject (JEL): H70 - State and local government ; Intergovernmental relations - General, R30 - Production analysis and firm location - General, and D80 - Information, knowledge, and uncertainty - General
Creator: Fernandez, Raquel, 1959- and Rogerson, Richard Donald. Series: Law and economics of federalism Abstract:
This paper examines the effect of different education financing systems on the level and distribution of resources devoted to public education. We focus on California, which in the 1970's was transformed from a system of mixed local and state financing to one of effectively pure state finance and subsequently saw its funding of public education fall between ten and fifteen percent relative to the rest of the US. We show that a simple political economy model of public finance can account for the bulk of this drop. We find that while the distribution of spending became more equal, this was mainly at the cost of a large reduction in spending in the wealthier communities with little increase for the poorer districts. Our model implies that there is no simple trade-off between equity and resources; we show that if California had moved to the opposite extreme and abolished state aid altogether, funding for public education would also have dropped by almost ten percent.
Keyword: Public finance, California, State government policy, Education finance reform, and Human capital Subject (JEL): H42 - Publicly provided goods - Publicly provided private goods, I22 - Education and research institutions - Educational finance, and I28 - Education and research institutions - Government policy