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The welfare economics of cooperative and noncooperative fiscal policy

  • Buiter, Willem H.
  • Kletzer, Kenneth M.

In a competitive two-country overlapping generations model with perfect capital mobility, a plan that is individually Pareto optimal (that is Pareto optimal with respect to individual preferences) can be sustained without coordination of national fiscal policies when the fiscal arsenal is restricted to lump-sum taxes and government borrowing. Cooperation is required to achieve a Pareto optimum with respect to the two utilitarian national social welfare functions. Cooperation and international side payments are required to achieve an optimum with respect to a utilitarian global social welfare function. Without international lump-sum transfers, when distortionary taxes on capital income are permitted, Pareto optima with respect to national social welfare functions and global social welfare optima will not be individual Pareto optima: efficiency is traded off for a more desirable intergenerational and international distribution of resources. With nationally provided international public goods, the achievement of individual Pareto efficiency requires coordination of public spending but not of financing.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 15 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 215-244

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:15:y:1991:i:1:p:215-244
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  2. Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1980. "Dynamic optimal taxation, rational expectations and optimal control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-91, May.
  3. Wilson, Charles A., 1981. "Equilibrium in dynamic models with an infinity of agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 95-111, February.
  4. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Brock, William A., 1980. "Time consistency and optimal government policies in perfect foresight equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 183-212, April.
  5. Hillier, Brian & Malcomson, James M, 1984. "Dynamic Inconsistency, Rational Expectations, and Optimal Government Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1437-51, November.
  6. O'Connell, Stephen A & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1988. "Rational Ponzi Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 431-50, August.
  7. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-32, March.
  8. Willem H. Buiter, 1979. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," NBER Working Papers 0352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Buiter, W.H. & Kletzer, K.M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy Interdependence And Efficiency," Papers 611, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  10. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
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