How Rival Are the Ricardian Equivalence Proposition and the Fiscal Policy Potency View?
Substitution of debt for taxes as a means of financing a given path of government expenditure would, according to the Ricardian equivalence proposition, have no important real consequences; yet it could, according to the traditional Keynesian view, have desirable countercyclical and growth effects. A reconciliation of these opposing views is not impossible if the author illuminates a source of deviation from the equivalence theorem, which has not been explored so far: the possibility that consumption decisions in each country are affected by the level of its indebtedness, when private agents operate under a debt illusion. The paper finds, within an explicit intertemporal optimization framework, strong empirical support for the debt-illusion hypothesis in a large sample of 52 countries. Copyright 1992 by Scottish Economic Society.
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Volume (Year): 39 (1992)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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