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Deficit-financed tax cuts and interest rates

  • Sylvain Leduc

Why do proposals to lower taxes often meet with opposition in Congress. One argument is that lowering taxes without an equivalent fall in government spending may lead to future budget deficits, which will translate into higher long-term interest rates and a lower level of income. Sylvain Leduc discusses the theoretical arguments under which budget deficits lead to higher interest rates. He also surveys empirical studies that used data on expected budget deficits to document the possibility that increases in future budget deficits are associated with higher real long-term interest rates.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its journal Business Review.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): Q2 ()
Pages: 30-37

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2004:i:q2:p:30-37
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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  2. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-90, March.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  5. Wachtel, Paul & Young, John, 1987. "Deficit Announcements and Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1007-12, December.
  6. Thomas Laubach, 2003. "New evidence on the interest rate effects of budget deficits and debt," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1989. "How should taxes be set?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 22-32.
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