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Public Debt and Redistribution with Borrowing Constraints

  • Florin O. Bilbiie
  • Tommaso Monacelli
  • Roberto Perotti

In an economy with financial imperfections, Ricardian equivalence holds when prices are flexible and the steady-state distribution of consumption is uniform, or labor is inelastic. With different steady-state consumption levels, Ricardian equivalence fails, but tax cuts, somewhat paradoxically, are contractionary; the presentvalue multiplier on consumption is, however, zero. With sticky prices, Ricardian equivalence always fails. A Robin-Hood, revenue-neutral redistribution to borrowers is expansionary on aggregate activity. A uniform cut in taxes financed with public debt has a positive present-value multiplier on consumption, stemming from intertemporal substitution by the savers, who hold the public debt.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: F64-F98

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f64-f98
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