NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Nicholas Dimsdale

University of Oxford
The Queen's College, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AW,

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Oxford

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2018Taxes and Growth: New Narrative Evidence from Interwar Britain
with James Cloyne, Natacha Postel-Vinay: w24659
The impact of fiscal policy on economic activity is still a matter of great debate. And, ever since Keynes first commented on it, interwar Britain, 1918- 1939, has remained a particularly contentious case | not least because of its high debt environment and turbulent business cycle. This debate has often focused on the effects of government spending, but little is known about the effects of tax changes. In fact, a number of tax reforms in the period focused on long-term and social objectives, often reflecting the personality of British Chancellors. Based on extensive historiographical research, we apply a narrative approach to the interwar period in Britain and isolate a new series of exogenous tax changes. We find that tax changes have a sizable effect on GDP, with multipliers around 0.5 ...
 
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