Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Electoral Uncertainty and the Deficit Bias in a New Keynesian Economy

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cambell Leith

    ()

  • Simon Wren-Lewis
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Recent attempts to incorporate optimal fiscal policy into New Keynesian models subject to nominal inertia, have tended to assume that policy makers are benevolent and have access to a commitment technology. A separate literature, on the New Political Economy, has focused on real economies where there is strategic use of policy instruments in a world of political conflict. In this paper we combine these literatures and assume that policy is set in a New Keynesian economy by one of two policy makers facing electoral uncertainty (in terms of infrequent elections and an endogenous voting mechanism). The policy makers generally share the social welfare function, but differ in their preferences over fiscal expenditure (in its size and/or composition). Given the environment, policy shall be realistically constrained to be time-consistent. In a sticky-price economy, such heterogeneity gives rise to the possibility of one policy maker utilising (nominal) debt strategically to tie the hands of the other party, and influence the outcome of any future elections. This can give rise to a deficit bias, implying a sub-optimally high level of steady-state debt, and can also imply a suboptimal response to shocks. The steady-state distortions and inflation bias this generates, combined with the volatility induced by the electoral cycle in a stickyprice environment, can significantly raise the costs of having a less than fully benevolent policy maker.

    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.st-andrews.ac.uk/economics/CDMA/papers/cp0803.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Conference Paper Series with number 0803.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation:
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:san:cdmacp:0803

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL
    Phone: 01334 462420
    Fax: 01334 462444
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/cdma
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    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. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
    3. Simon Wren-Lewis & Campbell Leith, 2007. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model," Economics Series Working Papers 310, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy: a linear-quadratic approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 806, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0391, European Central Bank.
    6. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
    10. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
    11. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    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:san:cdmacp:0803. 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: (Bram Boskamp).

    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.