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Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy and Heterogeneous Agents


  • Roc Armenter

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)


This paper characterizes the time-consistency properties of the set of Pareto efficient (or second best) fiscal policies, in a two-class, stochastic economy similar to that in Judd (1985). The key finding is that the continuation of any Pareto efficient policy is always Pareto efficient. Hence, to require any policy revision to be approved by unanimity safeguards the time consistency of efficient fiscal policy. I also show that any Pareto efficient policy from a timeless perspective can be rendered time consistent by a policymaker whose objective function is given by a utilitarian social welfare function with precise welfare weights. These results link the policymaker's equity considerations with the credibility of efficient fiscal policy. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Roc Armenter, 2007. "Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy and Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 31-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:06-38
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 739-773.
    2. 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..
    3. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Political economy of Ramsey taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 467-475.
    2. Garth Heutel, 2014. "Crowding Out and Crowding In of Private Donations and Government Grants," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(2), pages 143-175, March.

    More about this item


    Fiscal policy; Time-consistency; Equity considerations;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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