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Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes

  • Kimball, Miles S
  • Mankiw, N Gregory

This paper analyzes the effects of government debt and income taxes on consumption and saving in a world of infinitely-lived households having uncertain and heterogeneous incomes. The special structure of the model allows exact aggregation across households despite incomplete markets. The effects of government debt are shown to be substantial, roughly comparable to those resulting from finite horizons, and crucially dependent on the length of time until the debt is repaid. Also, anticipated changes in taxes are shown to cause anticipated changes in consumption. Finally, an index of fiscal stance is derived. Copyright 1989 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 97 (1989)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 863-79

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:97:y:1989:i:4:p:863-79
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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
  3. Robert B. Barsky & N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1987. "Ricardian Consumers With Keynesian Propensities," NBER Working Papers 1400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. DREZE, Jacques H. & MODIGLIANI, Franco, . "Cosumption decisions under uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers RP -119, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  7. Chan, Louis Kuo Chi, 1983. "Uncertainty and the neutrality of government financing policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 351-372.
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