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Public Debt and Redistribution with Borrowing Constraints


  • Florin O. Bilbiie
  • Tommaso Monacelli
  • Roberto Perotti


We build a model with financial imperfections and heterogeneous agents and analyse the effects of two types of fiscal policy: revenue-neutral, intratemporal redistribution; and debt-financed tax cuts, which we interpret as intertemporal redistribution. Under flexible prices, the two policies are either neutral or display effects that are at odds with the empirical evidence. With sticky prices, Ricardian equivalence always fails. A Robin Hood, revenue-neutral redistribution to borrowers is expansionary on aggregate activity. A uniform, debt-financed tax cut has a positive present-value multiplier on consumption, stemming from intertemporal substitution by the savers, who hold the public debt.
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Suggested Citation

  • Florin O. Bilbiie & Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2013. "Public Debt and Redistribution with Borrowing Constraints," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 64-98, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v::y:2013:i::p:f64-f98

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2011. "Tax Cuts, Redistribution, and Borrowing Constraints," Working Papers 408, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2017. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1427-1467.
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    5. Bilbiie, Florin O., 2008. "Limited asset markets participation, monetary policy and (inverted) aggregate demand logic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 162-196, May.
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    7. Florin O. Bilbiie & André Meier & Gernot J. Müller, 2008. "What Accounts for the Changes in U.S. Fiscal Policy Transmission?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1439-1470, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Edouard Challe & Julien Matheron & Xavier Ragot & Juan F. Rubio‐Ramirez, 2017. "Precautionary saving and aggregate demand," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), pages 435-478, July.
    2. Lorant Kaszab, 2016. "Rule-of-Thumb Consumers and Labor Tax Cut Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(3), pages 353-390, September.
    3. Lorenza Rossi & Chiara Punzo, 2016. "Money-Financed versus Debt-Financed Fiscal Stimulus with Borrowing Constraints," DEM Working Papers Series 131, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:525-543 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bahal, G., 2017. "Estimating Transfer Multiplier using Spending on Rural Development Programs in India," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1709, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Andrea Boitani & Chiara Punzo, 2018. "Banks’ leverage behaviour in a two-agent New Keynesian model," DEM Working Papers Series 150, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
    7. Hayo, Bernd & Neumeier, Florian, 2017. "The (In)validity of the Ricardian equivalence theorem–findings from a representative German population survey," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 162-174.
    8. António Antunes & Valerio Ercolani, 2016. "Public debt expansions and the dynamics of the household borrowing constraint," Working Papers w201618, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    9. Bilbiie, Florin Ovidiu, 2017. "The New Keynesian Cross: Understanding Monetary Policy with Hand-to-Mouth Households," CEPR Discussion Papers 11989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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