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Theses

Essays in the political economy of inflation

Abstract : This dissertation titled “Essays in the Political Economy of Inflation” is comprised of three papers which study the problem of inflation from a political-institutional perspective. All the three essays apply modern technical tools of macroeconomics to study different factors that affect the choice of policies. It is shown that these factors are crucial in shaping the governance structure conducive for policy effectiveness. The complex political-economic environment is difficult to study with traditional models of economic policy based on a benevolent social planner maximizing the utility of a representative individual. This thesis, therefore, approaches the political economy of inflation from a realistic practical side. The first essay titled “Taxing the unobservable: The impact of shadow economy oninflation and taxes”, is motivated from several theoretical and empirical studies which argue that optimal inflation rate increases in the size of informal economy. In this paper, we construct a small theoretical model that has two key components. First, it explicitly models the government’s choice for income or inflation tax. Our framework is general and does not impose any condition about the nature of the government (i.e., it does not require government to be necessarily benevolent or corrupt). Secondly, we explicitly consider the shadow economy in the government’s objective function. It allows us to see how it impacts the tax burden and inflation. Our theoretical model indicates an increasing marginal cost of taxes and an increasing rate of inflation in the shadow economy. The principle of marginal substitution rationalizes the government’s choice of inflation tax over income tax.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 9:37:07 AM
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Uhmad Mazhar. Essays in the political economy of inflation. Economics and Finance. Université de Strasbourg, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012STRAB003⟩. ⟨tel-00758075⟩

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