Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting
AbstractWe consider a representative-agent equilibrium model where the consumer has quasi-geometric discounting and cannot commit to future actions. With restricted attention to a parametric class for preferences and technology--logarithmic utility, Cobb-Douglas production, and full depreciaiton--we solve for time-consistent competitive equilibria globally and explicitly. For this class, we characterize the welfare properties of competitive equilibria and compare them to that of a planning problem. The planner is a consumer representative who, without commitment but in a time-consistent way, maximizes his present-value utility subject to resources constraints. The competitive equilibrium results in strictly higher welfare than does the planning problem whenever the discounting is not geometric. We also explicitly consider taxation in our environment. With a benevolent government that can tax income and capital, but cannot commit its future tax rates, time-consistent taxation leads to positive tax rates on capital. These tax rates reproduce the central planning solution, and thus imply a worse outcome in welfare terms when there is no government.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2001-06.
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Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/
Other versions of this item:
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-geometric Discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 42-72, July.
- Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 413, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
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