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The Economic Effects of Restrictions on Government Budget Deficits

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  • Ghiglino, Christian
  • Shell, Karl

Abstract

In overlapping-generations economies with perfect financial markets and lumpsum taxation, restrictions on the government budget deficits do not limit the set of achievable allocations. For economies in which tax instruments are distortionary and limited in number, deficits are irrelevant only in the unrealistic case in which the number of tax instruments is large relative to the number of policy goals. In particular, if the government can use only anonymous consumption taxes, then achieving the prescribed deficits without changing the equilibrium allocation will typically be impossible when the number of consumers exceeds the number of commodities. A similar result holds if consumer credit is (exogenously) restricted. Surprisingly, in this case, distortionary taxes may be more likely than lump-sum taxes to lead to the irrelevance of government deficits. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: D51, D91, E32. Keywords: Balanced Budget, Balanced-Budget Amendment, Burden of the Public Debt, Comparative Statics, Consumption Taxes, Credit Restrictions, Distortionary Taxes, Economic Policy, Government Budget Deficit, Maastricht Treaty, Optimal Taxation, Overlapping Generations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 94 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 106-137

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:94:y:2000:i:1:p:106-137

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  2. Heller, Walter P & Shell, Karl, 1974. "On Optimal Taxation with Costly Administration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 338-45, May.
  3. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, . "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States (Reprint 060)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Grandmont Jean-michel, 1985. "Stabilizing competitive business cycles," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8518, CEPREMAP.
  5. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  6. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1981. "The overlapping-generations model. II. The case of pure exchange with money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 112-142, February.
  7. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Do Budget Rules Work?," NBER Working Papers 5550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  9. Goenka, Aditya, 1994. "Fiscal Rules and Extrinsic Uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 401-16, May.
  10. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
  11. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational accounting: a new approach for understanding the effects of fiscal policy on saving," Working Paper 9107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Smith, Bruce D, 1994. "Efficiency and Determinacy of Equilibrium under Inflation Targeting," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 327-44.
  13. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  14. Keister, Todd, 1998. "Money Taxes and Efficiency When Sunspots Matter," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 43-68, November.
  15. Woodford, Michael, 1986. "Stationary sunspot equilibria in a finance constrained economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 128-137, October.
  16. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Guzman, Mark G. & Shell, Karl, 2009. "Price Level Volatility: A Simple Model of Money Taxes and Sunspots," Staff General Research Papers 5167, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Richard Evans & Kerk Phillips, 2014. "OLG Life Cycle Model Transition Paths: Alternate Model Forecast Method," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 105-131, January.
  3. Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2012. "Economic and Politico-Economic Equivalence," Working Papers 12.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  4. Chari, V. V., 2000. "Limits of Markets and Limits of Governments: An Introduction to a Symposium on Political Economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 1-6, September.
  5. Huberto Ennis & Todd Keister, 2001. "Optimal policy with probabilistic equilibrium selection," Working Paper 01-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "Generational Policy," NBER Working Papers 8163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2011. "Economic and Politico-Economic Equivalence of Fiscal Policies," 2011 Meeting Papers 58, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Gaetano Antinolfi & Todd Keister, 2001. "Dollarization as a monetary arrangement for emerging market economies," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov., pages 29-40.

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