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Fiscal policy, debt constraint and expectations-driven volatility


  • Nishimura, Kazuo
  • Seegmuller, Thomas
  • Venditti, Alain


Imposing some constraints on public debt is often justified regarding sustainability and stability issues. This is especially the case when the ratio of public debt over GDP is restricted to be constant. Using a Ramsey model, we show that such a constraint can however be a fundamental source of indeterminacy, and therefore, of expectations-driven fluctuations. Indeed, through the intertemporal budget constraint of the government, income taxation negatively depends on future debt, i.e. on the expected level of production. This mechanism ensures that expectations on the future tax rate may be self-fulfilling. We show that this is promoted by a larger ratio of debt over GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Nishimura, Kazuo & Seegmuller, Thomas & Venditti, Alain, 2015. "Fiscal policy, debt constraint and expectations-driven volatility," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 305-316.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:61:y:2015:i:c:p:305-316 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmateco.2015.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Boucekkine, Raouf & Nishimura, Kazuo & Venditti, Alain, 2015. "Introduction to financial frictions and debt constraints," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 271-275.
    2. Kazuo Nishimura & Carine Nourry & Thomas Seegmuller & Alain Venditti, 2015. "Growth and Public Debt: What Are the Relevant Tradeoffs?," Working Papers halshs-01269945, HAL.
    3. Maxime MENUET & Alexandru MINEA & Patrick VILLIEU, 2017. "Public Debt, Endogenous Growth Cycles Public Debt, Endogenous Growth Cycles and Indeterminacy," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2467, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    4. Brito, Paulo, 2016. "Government debt, fiscal rules and singular growth dynamics," MPRA Paper 74617, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Indeterminacy; Endogenous cycles; Public debt; Income taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt


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