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Solidarité intergénérationnelle et dette publique


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  • Xavier Timbeau


Fund expenditure by debt or by taxes is it equivalent? Ricardo, formalized and extended by Barro, says that debt is a future tax and agents, conscious of the future, should not consider the use of debt as different of a deferred payment. But the framework of Barro is so special that the result is not likely. Public debt suspends the issue of funding. As generations pass, the older have the opportunity to escape taxation, while the youngest are exposed to this. But an analysis of funding choices may not be limited to who is paying. It must also take into account that the choice of expenditure and its financing involves the modification of the trajectory of the economy. The expenditure will benefit, according to its nature, more or less to the current generations or to the future one. The funding method should be chosen only on the basis of this criterion. More generally, assigning the goal of no impact on future generations is futile. Our choices have consequences in the future, directly or indirectly. We are tied to future generations. JEL Classification codes: I20, H2, H5, H6, D6.

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Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue de l'OFCE.

Volume (Year): n° 116 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 191-212

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Handle: RePEc:cai:reofsp:reof_116_0191

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Keywords: public debt; générations; taxes; public expenses; education;

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