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Budget Deficits, Tax Rules, and real Interest Rates

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  • Martin Feldstein

Abstract

This paper examines three sources of the fluctuations in real interest rates during the past three decades: changes in budget deficits, changes in tax rules, and changes in monetary policy. The evidence indicates that budget deficits and monetary policy have had a strong influence on the level of long-term interest rates but fails to identify any effect of changes in corporate tax rates and investment incentives. The analysis shows that it is projected future budget deficits rather than the current level of the actual or structural deficit that influence long-term interest rates. Each percentage point increase in the five-year projected ratio of budget deficits to GNP raises the long-term government bond rate by approximately 1.2 percentage points while the ratio of the current deficit to GNP (either actual or structural) has no significa effect. The specific parameter estimates imply that the increase in projected budget deficits was responsible for about two-thirds of the rise in the interest rates between 1977-78 and 1983-84.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1970.

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Date of creation: Jul 1986
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1970

Note: EFG ME PE
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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1978. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and the Long Term-Interest Rate," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 61-110.
  3. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Inflation, Income Taxes, and the Rate of Interest: A Theoretical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 809-20, December.
  4. Kormendi, Roger C, 1983. "Government Debt, Government Spending, and Private Sector Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 994-1010, December.
  5. Feldstein, Martin S & Eckstein, Otto, 1970. "The Fundamental Determinants of the Interest Rate," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(4), pages 363-75, November.
  6. Evans, Paul, 1985. "Do Large Deficits Produce High Interest Rates?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 68-87, March.
  7. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld83-2, octubre-d.
  9. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1988. "Pension Funding and Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Feldstein, Martin (ed.), 1983. "Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226240848, April.
  12. Frankel, Jeffrey A, 1979. "On the Mark: A Theory of Floating Exchange Rates Based on Real Interest Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 610-22, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Martin Feldstein, 1986. "The Budget Deficit and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 1898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Manmohan S. Kumar & Emanuele Baldacci, 2010. "Fiscal Deficits, Public Debt, and Sovereign Bond Yields," IMF Working Papers 10/184, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Stephanie Kelton, 2011. "Limitations of the Government Budget Constraint: Users vs. Issuers of the Currency," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 57-66, March.
  4. Thomas Laubach, 2010. "Fiscal Policy and Interest Rates: The Role of Sovereign Default Risk," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2010, pages 7-29 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Panagiotis Petrakis & Emmanuel Papadakis & Nikoleta Daniilopoulou, 2012. "Public Statements on Sovereign Yield Spreads:The Greek Case," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(2), pages 5-16, December.
  6. Gale, William G. & Orszag, Peter R., 2003. "Economic Effects of Sustained Budget Deficits," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 463-85, September.
  7. Martin Feldstein & Joosung Jun, 1987. "The Effects of Tax Rules on Nonresidential Fixed Investment: Some Preliminary Evidence from the 1980s," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 101-162 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 263-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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