IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/itaxpf/v9y2002i2p157-173.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Debt, Death and Taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Tatsuji Hayakawa
  • Paul Zak

    ()

Abstract

Does the level of government debt affect living standards and if so, to what extent? We quantify the impact of the U.S. federal debt using an open economy overlapping generations model in which consumers have long but finite lifetimes. A demographic structure allows fiscal policy changes to have different effects on different agents, and reveals the linkages between public debt, output and international trade. We find that reducing the debt has relatively modest impacts on aggregates, while reducing government spending substantially raises U.S. incomes and welfare. Therefore, this paper contributes to the current debate regarding whether U.S. federal government budget surpluses should be used to retire government debt. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Tatsuji Hayakawa & Paul Zak, 2002. "Debt, Death and Taxes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 157-173, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:2:p:157-173
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1014699420402
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1014699420402
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1989. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 37-54, Spring.
    3. 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..
    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    5. Buiter, Willem H, 1981. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 769-797, August.
    6. John A. Tatom, 1991. "Public capital and private sector performance," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 3-15.
    7. John F. Helliwell, 1990. "Fiscal Policy and the External Deficit: Siblings, but not Twins," NBER Working Papers 3313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
    9. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Ricardian Equivalence: An Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 263-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Evans, Paul & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Are Government Activities Productive? Evidence from a Panel of U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 1-11, February.
    11. Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
    12. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-190, March.
    13. Yellen, Janet L, 1989. "Symposium on the Budget Deficit," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 17-21, Spring.
    14. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
    15. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "What do budget deficits do?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 95-119.
    16. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
    17. W. J. McKibbin & P. Bagnoli, "undated". "Fiscal Deficit Reduction: An Evaluation of Alternatives," Discussion Papers 101, Brookings Institution International Economics.
    18. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "Tests for Liquidity Constraints: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 1720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Eisner, Robert, 1989. "Budget Deficits: Rhetoric and Reality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 73-93, Spring.
    20. Alogoskoufis, George S, 1987. "On Intertemporal Substitution and Aggregate Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 938-960, October.
    21. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1987. "Fiscal Policies and the World Economy; An Intertemporal Approach (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987)," MPRA Paper 20438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:2:p:157-173. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.