Optimal Fiscal Policy over the Business Cycle
AbstractHow should taxes, government expenditures, the primary and fiscal surpluses and government liabilities be set over the business cycle? We assume that the government chooses expenditures and taxes to maximize the utility of a representative household, utility is increasing in government expenditures, only distortionary labor income taxes are available, and the cycle is driven by exogenous technology shocks. We first consider the commitment case, and characterize the Ramsey equilibrium. In the case that the utility function is constant elasticity of substitution between private and public consumption and separable between the composite consumption good and leisure, taxes, government expenditures and the primary surplus should all be constant positive fractions of production, and both government liabilities and the fiscal surplus should be positively correlated with production. Then, we relax the commitment assumption, and we show how to determine numerically whether the Ramsey equilibrium can be sustained by the threat to revert to a Markov perfect equilibrium. We find that, for realistic values of the preferences discount factor, the Ramsey equilibrium is sustainable.
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 Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200502.
Date of creation: 05 May 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: New Jersey Hall - 75 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1248
Phone: (732) 932-7482
Fax: (732) 932-7416
Web page: http://snde.rutgers.edu/Rutgers/wp/rutgers-wplist.html
More information through EDIRC
Fiscal Policy; Commitment; Ramsey Equilibrium; Time-consistency; Sustainable equilibrium;
Other versions of this item:
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2006-01-24 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-MAC-2006-01-24 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-01-24 (Public Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2006-01-24 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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.:
- Klein, Paul & Krusell, Per & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2004.
"Time Consistent Public Expenditures,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990.
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
- Benhabib, J. & Rustichini, A., 1996.
"Optimal Taxes Without Commitment,"
96-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- David R. Stockman, 2001. "Balanced-Budget Rules: Welfare Loss and Optimal Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 438-459, July.
- Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
- V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993.
"Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model,"
NBER Working Papers
4490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Atkeson, Andrew, 1991.
"International Lending with Moral Hazard and Risk of Repudiation,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1069-89, July.
- Andrew Atkeson, 2010. "International lending with moral hazard and risk of repudiation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 200, David K. Levine.
- Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1980. "Dynamic optimal taxation, rational expectations and optimal control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-91, May.
- Stokey, Nancy L, 1989. "Reputation and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 134-39, May.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
- Chari V. V. & Kehoe Patrick J., 1993.
"Sustainable Plans and Debt,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 230-261, December.
- Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
- Kenneth L. Judd, 1982.
"Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model,"
572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
- Per Krusell & Fernando M. Martin & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2006. "Time Consistent Debt," 2006 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Paul Klein & JosÈ-VÌctor RÌos-Rull, 2003. "Time-consistent optimal fiscal policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1217-1245, November.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.