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Debt Limits And Endogenous Growth

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  • Beatriz de-Blas-Perez

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Abstract

This paper studies the consequences on growth and welfare of imposing limits to public borrowing. In the model economy, government spending may play two different roles, either as input in the production function, or providing services directly in the utility function. In these setups I study the effects of different fiscal policies with and without debt limits both in the balanced growth path and during the transitional dynamics. In the long run, if there is no limit, the growth effects of raising labor income taxes are negative, regardless of the role of government spending. However, the role public spending is crucial for the growth effects of changes in the ratio of public expenditures to output. In the presence of a limit to debt, higher labor tax rates have a positive effect on growth if government spending is productive. The opposite is true when private capital drives growth. Regarding welfare, raising labor income taxes imply a lower welfare cost of reducing debt than does cutting government spending, when this is productive.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we052717.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we052717

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Working Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 589, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Uctum, Merih & Wickens, Michael, 2000. " Debt and Deficit Ceilings, and Sustainability of Fiscal Policies: An Intertemporal Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(2), pages 197-222, May.
  4. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
  5. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1994. "Public investment in infrastructure in a simple growth model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1173-1187, November.
  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Goldstein, Morris & Woglom, Geoffrey, 1995. "Do Credit Markets Discipline Sovereign Borrowers? Evidence from US States," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  8. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  9. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
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