Subsidies as optimal fiscal stimuli

Hassan Molana, Catia Montagna, Chang Yee Kwan

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    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Theoretical macroeconomic models typically take fiscal policy to mean tax-and-spend by a benevolent government that exploits potential aggregate demand externalities inherent in the imperfectly competitive nature of goods markets. Whilst shown to raise aggregate output and employment, these policies crowd-out private consumption and typically reduce welfare. On account of their widespread use to stimulate economic activity, we consider the use of tax-and-subsidize instead of tax-and-spend policies. Within a static general equilibrium macro-model with imperfectly competitive goods markets, we examine the effects of wage and output subsidies and show that, for a small open economy, positive tax and subsidy rates exist which maximize welfare, rendering no intervention suboptimal. We also show that, within a two-country setting, a Nash non-cooperative symmetric equilibrium with positive tax and subsidy rates exists, and that cooperation between governments in setting these rates is more expansionary and leads to an improvement upon the non-cooperative solution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)s149-s167
    Number of pages19
    JournalBulletin of Economic Research
    Volume64
    Issue numbers1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

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