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Debt Stabilizing Fiscal Rules

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  • PHILIPPE MICHEL
  • LEOPOLD VON THADDEN
  • JEAN-PIERRE VIDAL

Abstract

Unstable government debt dynamics can typically be stabilized around a certain target level of debt by adjustments in various fiscal instruments, like government spending, transfers, or taxes. This paper investigates properties of debt stabilizing rules which link the needed budgetary adjustments to the state of the economy. The paper establishes that the magnitude of the target level of long-run debt is a key determinant of whether it is possible to find a rule of this type that can be implemented under all available fiscal instruments. Specifically, considering linear feedback rules, the paper demonstrates that there may well exist a critical target level of debt beyond which this is no longer possible. From an applied perspective, this finding is of particular relevance in the context of a monetary union with decentralized fiscal policies. Depending on the target level of debt, there might be a conflict between a common fiscal framework that tracks deficit developments as a function of the state of the economy and the unrestricted choice of fiscal policy instruments at the national level. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Michel & Leopold Von Thadden & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2010. "Debt Stabilizing Fiscal Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 923-941, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:5:p:923-941
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Devrim Yilmaz, 2012. "Simple Dynamics of Public Debt with Productive Public Goods," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 165, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    2. Pierre Richard Agénor & Devrim Yilmaz, 2006. "The Tyranny of Rules: Fiscal Discipline, Productive Spending, and Growth," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0616, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Philippe Michel & Leopold Von Thadden & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2010. "Debt Stabilizing Fiscal Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(5), pages 923-941, October.
    4. Leith, Campbell & von Thadden, Leopold, 2008. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a New Keynesian model with capital accumulation and non-Ricardian consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 279-313, May.
    5. Mongelli, Francesco Paolo & Vega, Juan Luis, 2006. "What effects is EMU having on the euro area and its member countries? An overview," Working Paper Series 599, European Central Bank.
    6. Kelbesa Megersa & Danny Cassimon, 2015. "Public Debt, Economic Growth, and Public Sector Management in Developing Countries: Is There a Link?," Public Administration & Development, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 329-346, December.
    7. Robalo Marques, Carlos & Dias, Daniel & Santos Silva, João M. C., 2006. "Measuring the importance of the uniform nonsynchronization hypothesis," Working Paper Series 606, European Central Bank.
    8. Noritaka Maebayashi & Kunihiko Konishi, 2016. "Sustainability of the public debt and wealth inequality in a general equilibrium model," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-33, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    9. Martin Stepanek, 2017. "Pension Reforms and Adverse Demographics: The Case of the Czech Republic," Working Papers IES 2017/15, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Aug 2017.
    10. P R Agénor & D Yilmaz, 2006. "The Tyranny of Rules: Fiscal Discipline, Productive Spending, and Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 73, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    11. wei-bin zhang, 2016. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Uzawa?s Two-Sector Model with Public Goods," International Journal of Economic Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 5(4), pages 51-72, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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