Optimal Fiscal Policy
AbstractThis paper derives and estimates rules for fiscal policy that prescribe the optimal response to changes in unemployment and debt. We combine the reduced form model of the economy from a linear VAR with a non-linear welfare function and obtain analytic solutions for optimal policy. The variables in our reduced form model –growth, unemployment, primary surplus– have a natural rate that cannot be affected by policy. Policy can only reduce fluctuations around these natural rates. Our welfare function contains future GDP and unemployment, the relative weights of which determine the optimal response. The optimal policy rule demands an immediate and large policy response that is procyclical to growth shocks and countercyclical to unemployment shocks. This result holds true when the weight of unemployment in the welfare function is reduced to zero. The rule currently followed by policy makers responds procyclically to both growth and unemployment shocks, and does so much slower than the optimal rule, leading to significant welfare losses.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 13-064/VI.
Date of creation: 06 May 2013
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
optimal control; optimal policy; fiscal policy rules; fiscal consolidation; debt sustainability;
Other versions of this item:
- Jasper Lukkezen & Coen Teulings, 2013. "Optimal fiscal policy," CPB Discussion Paper 242, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
- Jasper Lukkezen & Coenraad N. Teulings, 2013. "Optimal Fiscal Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4241, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lukkezen, Jasper & Teulings, Coen N, 2013. "Optimal fiscal policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 9473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
- H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-05-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2013-05-19 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PUB-2013-05-19 (Public Finance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012.
"Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion,"
in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 63-98
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ricardo J. Caballero, 2010.
"Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome,"
NBER Working Papers
16429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ricardo J. Caballero, 2010. "Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 85-102, Fall.
- Freeman, Donald G, 2001. "Panel Tests of Okun's Law for Ten Industrial Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 511-23, October.
- Hartley, Roger & Lanot, Gauthier & Walker, Ian, 2005.
"Who Really Wants to be a Millionaire : Estimates of Risk Aversion from Game Show Data,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
719, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Gauthier Lanot & Roger Hartley & Ian Walker, 2006. "Who Really Wants to be a Millionaire? Estimates of Risk Aversion from Gameshow Data," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/07, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
- Hartley, Roger & Lanot, Gauthier & Walker, Ian, 2006. "Who really wants to be a millionaire? Estimates of risk aversion from gameshow data," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 747, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Roger Hartley & Gauthier Lanot & Ian Walker, 2006. "Who really wants to be a millionaire? Estimates of risk aversion from gameshow data," Working Papers 200607, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
- Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2010.
"Growth in a Time of Debt,"
NBER Working Papers
15639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2008.
"New Keynesian models: not yet useful for policy analysis,"
409, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2009. "New Keynesian Models: Not Yet Useful for Policy Analysis," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 242-66, January.
- V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2008. "New Keynesian Models: Not Yet Useful for Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 14313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ellen R. McGrattan & Patrick J. Kehoe & V. V. Chari, 2008. "New Keynesian models: not yet useful for policy analysis," Working Papers 664, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995.
"Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Fiscal Policy In Good Times And Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1399-1436, November.
- Baum, Anja & Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012.
"Debt and growth: new evidence for the euro area,"
Working Paper Series
1450, European Central Bank.
- Lee, Jim, 2000. "The Robustness of Okun's Law: Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 331-356, April.
- Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, December.
- Love, Inessa & Zicchino, Lea, 2006. "Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 190-210, May.
- Polito, Vito & Wickens, Michael R, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy using a VAR," CEPR Discussion Papers 6957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Valerie A. Ramey, 2011.
"Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
- Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012. "The impact of high government debt on economic growth and its channels: An empirical investigation for the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1392-1405.
- Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988.
"Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data,"
Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
- Tom Doan, . "RATS program to demonstrate IV estimation of VAR in panel data," Statistical Software Components RTZ00185, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Pesaran, H. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 1998.
"Generalized impulse response analysis in linear multivariate models,"
Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-29, January.
- Pesaran, M. H. & Shin, Y., 1997. "Generalised Impulse Response Analysis in Linear Multivariate Models," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9710, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Giancarlo Corsetti & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2012.
"What determines government spending multipliers?,"
CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 27(72), pages 521-565, October.
- Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2011. "The Effects of Government Purchases Shocks: Review and Estimates for the EU," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(550), pages F4-F32, February.
- DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness,"
ZEI Working Papers
B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
- Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
- Stephen Cecchetti & Madhusudan Mohanty & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2011. "The real effects of debt," BIS Working Papers 352, Bank for International Settlements.
- Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
- Gernot MÃ¼ller & AndrÃ© Meier & Giancarlo Corsetti, 2012.
"What Determines Government Spending Multipliers?,"
IMF Working Papers
12/150, International Monetary Fund.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.