A General Approach to Macroeconomic Policy by J. O. N. Perkins (auth.)

By J. O. N. Perkins (auth.)

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98 or more SOURCE: Derived from Dramais, 1986. NOTE: as cuts in indirect taxes and in employers' social security contributions reduce prices as well as stimulating real output, there is (so far as this evidence goes, at any rate) no upper limit to the extent to which those taxes could be cut in the process of giving a non-inflationary stimulus. Indeed, there would be no need also to reduce government outlays in order to give a non-inflationary stimulus by cuts in either of those taxes, unless there was also some other aim, such as holding down the budget deficit or the deficit on the current account.

This carries the implication that such a shift in the relative importance of these two different types of tax (with total tax revenue being kept unchanged) may have two distinct upward effects on prices. For if a rise in indirect taxes tends to raise prices, whereas a rise in income tax rates tends to reduce prices (as is suggested by almost all the evidence in Chapter 3), this means that a shift from direct to indirect taxes will tend to raise the price level on two counts: for the rise in indirect taxes will increase prices, as will also the reduction in direct taxes.

It also appears to be likely that fiscal measures of expansion are less inflationary for a given real stimulus if they are bond-financed than if they are accommodated by monetary policy directed at holding down interest rates. But Canada, and perhaps the US, may be exceptions to these two conclusions, at least in part. Outside North America, however, some combination of tight monetary policy with fiscal stimulus -especially if the fiscal stimulus is bond financed, and if it takes the form of a tax cut - is likely to be available that will both stimulate real output and employment and also tend to reduce prices.

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