Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Game Over: Simulating Unsustainable Fiscal Policy

Contents:

Author Info

  • Richard W. Evans
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • Kerk L. Phillips

Abstract

Fiscal sustainability is one of the most pressing policy issues of our time. Yet it remains difficult to quantify. Official debt is plagued with a number of measurement difficulties since its measurement reflects the choice of words, not policies. And forming the fiscal gap–the imbalance in the government's intertemporal budget–requires strong discount rate assumptions. An alternative approach, taken here, is specifying a stochastic general equilibrium model and determining via simulation how long it takes for the economy to reach game over–the point where current policy can no longer be maintained. Our simulations, based on an OLG model calibrated to the U.S. economy, produce an average duration to game over of roughly one century, with a 35 percent chance of reaching the fiscal limit in roughly 30 years. The prospect of man-made economic collapse produces large equity premia, like those observed in the data. Our simulations show that both the fiscal gap and the equity premium rise as the economy gets closer to hitting its fiscal limit, suggesting that the fiscal gap and the equity premium may be good indicators of unsustainable policy.

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/w17917.pdf
Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17917.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Game Over: Simulating Unsustainable Fiscal Policy , Richard W. Evans, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Kerk L. Phillips. in Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis , Alesina and Giavazzi. 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17917

Note: EFG PE
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. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 1993. "Understanding Risk and Return," NBER Working Papers 4554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M., 2011. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 211-227, February.
  4. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2007. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1677-1719, November.
  5. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B., 2010. ""Unfunded liabilities" and uncertain fiscal financing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 600-619, July.
  6. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable Debt, Interest Rates and the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 10731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Fiscal Limits in Advanced Economies," NBER Working Papers 16819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," NBER Working Papers 15343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hugett, M. & Ventura, G., 1997. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9710, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  11. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 1992. "Tax policy and business fixed investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 141-170, March.
  12. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2011. "Temporarily Unstable Government Debt and Inflation," NBER Working Papers 16799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 2002. "Dropping Out of Social Security," Working Papers wp022, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  14. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B., 2011. "Inflation and the fiscal limit," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 31-47, January.
  15. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  16. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Robert J. Barro, 2007. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," NBER Working Papers 13690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
  20. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  21. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  22. Blake, David, 1996. "Efficiency, Risk Aversion and Portfolio Insurance: An Analysis of Financial Asset Portfolios Held by Investors in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1175-92, September.
  23. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
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. When is the US going to reach its fiscal limit?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-04-06 15:12:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Gabriel Cuadra & Manuel Ramos Francia, 2014. "Stimulus vs. Austerity vs. Default," Working Papers 2014-10, Banco de México.
  2. Kevin x.d. Huang & Hui He & Sheng-ti Hung, 2013. "Substituting Leisure for Health Expenditure: A General Equilibrium-Based Empirical Investigation," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00020, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  3. Eugene Goryunov & Maria Kazakova & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Arseny Mamedov & Kristina Nesterova & Vladimir Nazarov & Elena Grishina & Pavel Trunin & Alexey Shpenev, 2013. "Russia’s Fiscal Gap," NBER Working Papers 19608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17917. 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.