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THE CREDIT‐CHANNEL TRANSMISSION MECHANISM AND THE NONLINEAR GROWTH AND WELFARE EFFECTS OF INFLATION AND TAXES

Shu-Hua Chen ()

Economic Inquiry, 2018, vol. 56, issue 2, 724-744

Abstract: With the credit‐channel effect driven by the central bank's open market operations, this paper's model easily gives rise to the nonlinear inflation‐growth nexus, which is evidenced by a number of cross‐country empirical studies. The threshold level of the inflation rate is found to be lower when tax rates are higher. The presence of the credit‐channel effect also provides the rationale for setting positive (and smaller than 1) tax rates on consumption, labor income, and capital income. The optimal tax rates rise as the inflation target declines. Under a fiscal policy rule where labor and capital income taxes move proportionally to each other, the optimal capital income tax rate could be higher than the optimal labor income tax rate. Under a sufficiently large central bank balance sheet, the credit‐channel effect will be so weak that inflation and all kinds of taxes are growth and welfare repressing. This provides a rationale for central banks that have implemented quantitative easing policies to shrink their balance sheets. (JEL E58, E62, O42)

Date: 2018
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