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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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References

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  1. Evans, Paul, 1985. "Do Large Deficits Produce High Interest Rates?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 68-87, March.
  2. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Income Taxes, and the Rate of Interest: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 28-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1985. "Pension Funding and Saving," NBER Working Papers 1622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  8. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld83-2.
  9. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1983. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and the Long-term Interest Rate," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 153-185 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Manmohan S. Kumar & Emanuele Baldacci, 2010. "Fiscal Deficits, Public Debt, and Sovereign Bond Yields," IMF Working Papers 10/184, International Monetary Fund.
  2. 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.
  3. Martin Feldstein & Joosung Jun, 1986. "The Effects of Tax Rules on Nonresidential Fixed Investment: Some Preliminary Evidence from the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 1857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  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. 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.
  7. Martin Feldstein, 1986. "The Budget Deficit and the Dollar," NBER Working Papers 1898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1988. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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