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Experimental Tests of Ricardian Equivalence

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  • Cadsby, Charles Bram
  • Frank, Murray

Abstract

This study employs laboratory experiments to test aspects of Ricardian equivalence. An overlapping generations model forms the basis of the experimental design. Whenever Ricardian equivalence predicts a positive bequest, outcomes close to those predicted occur, after allowance for learning. Observed deviations from Ricardian equilibrium are small, but biased in a Keynesian direction: changes in bequests do not fully offset changes in government debt. The imposition of a binding nonnegativity constraint on bequests produces the predicted neoclassical behavior. The cost to the players of deviations from the theoretical equilibrium is apparently an important determinant of the variability of observed deviations. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Cadsby, Charles Bram & Frank, Murray, 1991. "Experimental Tests of Ricardian Equivalence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 645-664, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:4:p:645-64
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Mantovani, Marco & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2016. "Limited farsightedness in network formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 97-120.
    2. Meissner, Thomas & Rostam-Afschar, Davud, 2017. "Learning Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 273-288.
    3. Ricciuti, Roberto, 2008. "Bringing macroeconomics into the lab," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 216-237, March.
    4. Geiger, Martin & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Scharler, Johann, 2016. "When do fiscal consolidations lead to consumption booms? Lessons from a laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-20.
    5. Hayo, Bernd & Neumeier, Florian, 2017. "The (In)validity of the Ricardian equivalence theorem–findings from a representative German population survey," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 162-174.
    6. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1998. "An experimental test of the crowding out hypothesis: The nature of beneficent behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 315-331, November.
    7. repec:pit:wpaper:334 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:egr:ejge00:v:1:i:1:p:106-125 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2003:i:11:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Artidiatun Adji & James Alm & Paul J. Ferraro, 2009. "Experimental tests of Ricardian equivalence with distortionary versus nondistortionary taxes," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2556-2572.
    11. Leif Helland & Jon Hovi & Lars Monkerud, 2012. "Can exit prizes induce lame ducks to shirk less? Experimental evidence," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 1(2), pages 106-125, December.

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