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Long-Term Objectives for Government Debt

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  • Alan J. Auerbach

Abstract

This paper considers what fiscal targets the government should use to achieve long-term fiscal objectives. Among its findings are: 1. At least three important and possibly conflicting long-term objectives are associated with concerns about debt and deficits: intergenerational equity, economic performance, and fiscal sustainability. 2. If governments have incentives not to adhere to fiscal policy targets, then restrictions on fiscal policy actions may be desirable, even though such restrictions reduce the scope for policy flexibility. 3. A collection of forward-looking measures, including explicit and implicit government assets and liabilities, can provide far more information than short-term deficit targets alone.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 65 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 472-501

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200912)65:4_472:lofgd_2.0.tx_2-t

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Related research

Keywords: deficits; fiscal gap; implicit liabilities; tax smoothing; generational equity;

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Cited by:
  1. Hebous, Shafik, 2009. "The Effects of Discretionary Fiscal Policy on Macroeconomic Aggregates: A Reappraisal," MPRA Paper 23300, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2010.
  2. Henning Bohn, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of Rising U.S. Government Debt: Privileges at Risk," CESifo Working Paper Series 3079, CESifo Group Munich.

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