A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt
This paper considers an economy in which policymakers with different preferences alternate in office as a result of elections. Government debt is used strategically by each policymaker to influence the choices of his successors. If different policymakers disagree about the desired composition of government spending between two public goods, the economy exhibits a deficits bias; that is, debt accumulation is higher than it would be with a social planner. The equilibrium level of debt is larger the larger the degree of polarization between alternative governments and the less likely it is that the current government will be reelected. Copyright 1990 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.
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Volume (Year): 57 (1990)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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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.:
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006.
"The Power to Tax,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1986. "Principles of fiscal and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-134, January.
- Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983.
"Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
- 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.
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