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Managing pessimistic expectations and fiscal policy

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  • Karantounias, Anastasios G.

    () (Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

Abstract

This paper studies the design of optimal fiscal policy when a government that fully trusts the probability model of government expenditures faces a fearful public that forms pessimistic expectations. We identify two forces that shape our results. On the one hand, the government has an incentive to concentrate tax distortions on events that it considers unlikely relative to the pessimistic public. On the other hand, the endogeneity of the public's expectations gives rise to a novel motive for expectation management that aims towards the manipulation of equilibrium prices of government debt in a favorable way. These motives typically act in opposite directions and induce persistence to the optimal allocation and the tax rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Karantounias, Anastasios G., 2013. "Managing pessimistic expectations and fiscal policy," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:the:publsh:899
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    Cited by:

    1. Baumann Robert & Svec Justin, 2016. "The Impact of Political Uncertainty: A Robust Control Approach," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 837-863, April.
    2. Anthony Diercks, 2016. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Paciello, Luigi, 2014. "Monetary policy, doubts and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 85-98.
    4. Kwon, Hyosung & Miao, Jianjun, 2017. "Three types of robust Ramsey problems in a linear-quadratic framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 211-231.
    5. Anmol Bhandari & Jaroslav Borovička & Paul Ho, 2016. "Identifying Ambiguity Shocks in Business Cycle Models Using Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 22225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 289-314.
    7. Chahrour, Ryan & Svec, Justin, 2014. "Optimal capital taxation and consumer uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 178-198.
    8. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
    9. Richard Dennis, 2013. "Asset Prices, Business Cycles, and Markov-Perfect Fiscal Policy when Agents are Risk-Sensitive," CAMA Working Papers 2013-69, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    10. Lars P. Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2016. "Sets of Models and Prices of Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 22000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. de Mendonça, Helder Ferreira & Nicolay, Rodolfo Tomás da Fonseca, 2017. "Is communication clarity from fiscal authority useful? Evidence from an emerging economy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 35-51.
    12. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2012. "Three types of ambiguity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 422-445.
    13. Anastasios Karantounias, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with recursive preferences," 2012 Meeting Papers 1085, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Hengjie Ai & Ravi Bansal, 2016. "Risk Preferences and The Macro Announcement Premium," NBER Working Papers 22527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2015. "Four types of ignorance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 97-113.
    16. Caprioli, Francesco, 2015. "Optimal fiscal policy under learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 101-124.
    17. Anastasios Karantounias & Axelle Ferriere, 2014. "Debt and government spending in ambiguous times," 2014 Meeting Papers 1129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Ferrière, Axelle & Karantounias, Anastasios G., 2016. "Fiscal austerity in ambiguous times," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2016-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; misspecification; robustness; taxes; debt; martingale;

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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