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Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability

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  • Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martin

Abstract

A traditional argument against a balanced-budget fiscal policy rule is that it amplifies business cycles by stimulating aggregate demand during booms via tax cuts and higher public expenditures and by reducing demand during recessions through a corresponding fiscal contraction. This paper suggests an additional source of instability that may arise from this type of fiscal policy rule. It shows that, within the standard neoclassical growth model, a balanced-budget rule can make expectations of higher tax rates self-fulfilling if the fiscal authority relies heavily on changes in labor income taxes to eliminate short-run fiscal imbalances. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

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  • Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:105:y:1997:i:5:p:976-1000
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