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Fiscal consolidations and heterogeneous expectations

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  • Hommes, Cars
  • Lustenhouwer, Joep
  • Mavromatis, Kostas

Abstract

We analyze fiscal consolidations using a New Keynesian model where agents have heterogeneous expectations and are uncertain about the composition of consolidations. We look at spending-based and tax-based consolidations and analyze their effects separately. We find that the effects of consolidations and the output multipliers are sensitive to heterogeneity in expectations before and after implementation of a specific fiscal plan. Depending on the beliefs about the type of consolidation prior to implementation, we show that heterogeneity in expectations may lead to optimism in the economy, improving thus the performance of a specific fiscal plan, or can work towards the opposite direction leading to pessimism, amplifying the contractionary effects of the consolidation. In general, we find that spending-based consolidations last longer and lead to deeper recessions when agents are boundedly rational compared to the rational expectations benchmark, while the opposite holds for tax-based consolidations.

Suggested Citation

  • Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2018. "Fiscal consolidations and heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 173-205.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:173-205
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2017.12.002
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    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Uncertainty; Heterogeneous expectations; Bounded rationality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General

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