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Time consistent fiscal policies in a Ramsey economy

  • Cellini, Roberto
  • Lambertini, Luca

This paper revisits a well-known case of optimal fiscal policy in a Ramsey model where consumer utility is defined over consumption and public goods. We show that normalising the size of the population to one eliminates the scope for active policy-making since the decentralised equilibrium coincides with social planning. Then, we modify the model to allow for a population of N > 1 agents, whereby restoring the role of the government as a policymaker. Both in the Stackelberg case and in the decentralised game, we prove that optimal fiscal policy and consumption are not only time consistent but also subgame perfect.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165-4896(07)00002-9
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Mathematical Social Sciences.

Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 296-313

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Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:53:y:2007:i:3:p:296-313
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505565

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  1. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fernando Alvarez & Pat Kehoe, 2003. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Department of Economics Working Papers 005, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  2. Daniel Cohen & Philippe Michel, 1988. "How Should Control Theory Be Used to Calculate a Time-Consistent Government Policy?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 263-274.
  3. Kydland, Finn, 1977. "Equilibrium solutions in dynamic dominant-player models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 307-324, August.
  4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  5. Karp, Larry & Lee, In Ho, 2000. "Time-Consistent Policies," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt94q3m5mq, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  6. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, Junio.
  7. Danyang Xie, 2002. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Macroeconomics 0212004, EconWPA.
  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  10. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Wolfgang Pesendorfer & David Levine, 1992. "When are Agents Negligible?," Discussion Papers 1018, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini & G. Leitmann, 2004. "Perfect Uncontrollable Differential Games," Working Papers 509, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  15. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
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