How taxes and real wage inflexibility interact to make trade deficits addictive: The tertiary and quaternary burdens of a transfer

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© 2016 World Scientific Publishing Company.Previous papers on the transfer problem pay scant attention to the problems caused by the distortionary taxation that extracts the gift from the donor nation or the cut in distortionary taxation that bestows the gift to the recipient nation. When combined with inflexibility in the real wage these changes in taxation and the transfer itself impose a considerable burden to the donor matched by a considerable blessing to the recipient. We explore these effects, and conclude that "The Great Rebalancing" between the US and China needed to cure the US trade deficit, i.e., to eliminate the transfer that China is making to the US may bestow a big burden on the US matched by a big blessing for China.






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TOWER, EDWARD, and YIFANVICTOR YE (2016). How taxes and real wage inflexibility interact to make trade deficits addictive: The tertiary and quaternary burdens of a transfer. Singapore Economic Review, 61(2). 10.1142/S0217590816400269 Retrieved from

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Edward Tower

Professor Emeritus of Economics

Professor Tower specializes in finance, computable general equilibrium modeling, macroeconomics, development economics, microeconomics, and managerial economics. He conducts a majority of his research within the study of trade and development, exploring a variety of variables from tariffs, quotas, and time zone arbitrage, to equities, mutual funds, and index mutual funds. Since he began publishing his work in 1965, he has contributed over 130 articles to leading academic journals and has had several books, chapters, and papers appear in print. Some of his more recent writings include, “School Choice: Money, Race, and Congressional Voting on Vouchers,” completed in collaboration with O. Gokcekus and J. Phillips; “Rational Pessimism: Predicting Equity Returns by Tobin’s q and Price/Earnings Ratio” with M. Harney; and “Predicting Equity Returns for 37 Countries: Tweaking the Gordon Formula” with K. Reinker. Much of his work pertaining to U.S. trade policy has been used to determine congressional voting on protectionist issues based on campaign contributions. His work on financial issues has also played an important role in determining the value of the U.S. stock market. His latest studies involved an investigation of congressional voting on importation of ethical drugs and predicting returns on both foreign and U.S. equity.

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