Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt

Contents:

Author Info

  • Marco Battaglini
  • Stephen Coate

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic political economy theory of public spending, taxation and debt. Policy choices are made by a legislature consisting of representatives elected by geographically-defined districts. The legislature can raise revenues via a distortionary income tax and by borrowing. These revenues can be used to finance a national public good and district-specific transfers (interpreted as pork-barrel spending). The value of the public good is stochastic, reflecting shocks such as wars or natural disasters. In equilibrium, policy-making cycles between two distinct regimes: %u201Cbusiness-as-usual%u201D in which legislators bargain over the allocation of pork, and %u201Cresponsible-policy-making%u201D in which policies maximize the collective good. Transitions between the two regimes are brought about by shocks in the value of the public good. In the long run, equilibrium tax rates are too high and too volatile, public good provision is too low and debt levels are too high. In some environments, a balanced budget requirement can improve citizen welfare.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12100.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12100.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-36, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12100

Note: PE POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policymaking: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 118-149, March.
  2. O. Gossner & N. Vieille, 1999. "How to play with a biased coin ?," THEMA Working Papers 99-31, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  3. Hassler, John & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2001. "The Survival of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, October.
  5. Thomas J. Sargent & Marco Bassetto, 2004. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," 2004 Meeting Papers 3, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Stephen Morris & George J Mailath, 2005. "Coordination Failure in Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," 2005 Meeting Papers 25, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy With Noncontingent Debt And The Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131, August.
  8. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why is fiscal policy often procyclical?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2090, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. GOSSNER, Olivier & HERNANDEZ, Pénélope, 2001. "On the complexity of coordination," CORE Discussion Papers 2001047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, 1996. "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lizzeri, Alessandro, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 909-28, October.
  13. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  14. repec:rus:hseeco:72153 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1995. "Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: Policy Issues in Closed and Open Economies," Working Papers 95-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  17. George J Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2001. "Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000257, www.najecon.org.
  18. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, . "Policy Persistence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 8a66677895e9fcb3f6d813c0c, Penn Economics Department.
  20. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
  21. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
  22. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  23. Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 1997. "Efficiency in Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 345-361, October.
  24. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
  25. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
  26. Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Government Spending, Interest Rates, Prices, and Budget Deficits in the United Kingdom, 1701-1918," NBER Working Papers 2005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. V. Bhaskar & Ichiro Obara, . "Belief-Based Equilibria in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Penn CARESS Working Papers d93eb6f40c65728f9e1a7b114, Penn Economics Department.
  28. Johannes Horner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2005. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private, Almost-Perfect Monitoring," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 172782000000000006, www.najecon.org.
  29. William A. Niskanen, 1992. "The Case for a New Fiscal Constitution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 13-24, Spring.
  30. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Valimaki, 1999. "A Robust Folk Theorem for the Prisoner's Dilemma," Discussion Papers 1264, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  31. Kandori, Michihiro, 2002. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 1-15, January.
  32. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  33. Leblanc, William & Snyder, James Jr. & Tripathi, Micky, 2000. "Majority-rule bargaining and the under provision of public investment goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 21-47, January.
  34. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  35. Neyman, Abraham & Okada, Daijiro, 2000. "Repeated Games with Bounded Entropy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-247, February.
  36. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, May.
  37. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  38. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  39. Lehrer, E, 1990. "Nash Equilibria of n-Player Repeated Games with Semi-standard Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 191-217.
  40. V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "A contribution to the theory of pork barrel spending," Staff Report 156, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  41. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  42. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. " Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-42, December.
  43. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  44. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 12224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. G Frechette & J Kagel & M Morelli, 2004. "Behavioral Identification in Coalition Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis of Demand Bargaining and Alternating Offers," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000006, UCLA Department of Economics.
  46. Piccione, Michele, 2002. "The Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 70-83, January.
  47. Moreno, Diego & Wooders, John, 1998. "An Experimental Study of Communication and Coordination in Noncooperative Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 47-76, July.
  48. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Why Not a Political Coase Theorem? Social Conflict, Commitment and Politics," NBER Working Papers 9377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Ehud Kalai & William Stanford, 1986. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Discussion Papers 679, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  50. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  51. Barro, Robert J, 1986. " U.S. Deficits since World War I," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 195-22.
  52. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  53. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, . "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States (Reprint 060)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  54. Inman, Robert P, 1990. "Public Debts and Fiscal Politics: How to Decide?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 81-85, May.
  55. von Stengel, Bernhard & Koller, Daphne, 1997. "Team-Maxmin Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 309-321, October.
  56. Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 2013. "Long Term Competition -- A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 627-640, November.
  57. Baron David & Kalai Ehud, 1993. "The Simplest Equilibrium of a Majority-Rule Division Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 290-301, December.
  58. V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "Why are representative democracies fiscally irresponsible?," Staff Report 163, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  59. Neyman, Abraham & Okada, Daijiro, 1999. "Strategic Entropy and Complexity in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 191-223, October.
  60. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  61. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
  62. Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Debts and deficits with fragmented fiscal policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 105-125, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Pork-barrel cycles
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-03-28 01:51:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
  1. Economic Logic blog

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12100. See general 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: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.