IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Game Over: Simulating Unsustainable Fiscal Policy

In: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis

  • Richard W. Evans
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • Kerk L. Phillips

Fiscal sustainability is one of the most pressing policy issues of our time. Yet it remains difficult to quantify. Official debt is plagued with a number of measurement difficulties since its measurement reflects the choice of words, not policies. And forming the fiscal gap-the imbalance in the government's intertemporal budget-requires strong discount rate assumptions. An alternative approach, taken here, is specifying a stochastic general equilibrium model and determining via simulation how long it takes for the economy to reach game over-the point where current policy can no longer be maintained. Our simulations, based on an OLG model calibrated to the U.S. economy, produce an average duration to game over of roughly one century, with a 35 percent chance of reaching the fiscal limit in roughly 30 years. The prospect of man-made economic collapse produces large equity premia, like those observed in the data. Our simulations show that both the fiscal gap and the equity premium rise as the economy gets closer to hitting its fiscal limit, suggesting that the fiscal gap and the equity premium may be good indicators of unsustainable policy.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c12642.pdf
Download Restriction: no

as
in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Alberto Alesina & Francesco Giavazzi, 2013. "Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ales11-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12642.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12642
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Troy Davig & Eric M Leeper, 2011. "Temporarily Unstable Government Debt and Inflation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 59(2), pages 233-270, June.
    2. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    3. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2007. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1677-1719, November.
    4. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2010. ""Unfunded liabilities" and uncertain fiscal financing," Research Working Paper RWP 10-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    5. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura, 1999. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 498-531, July.
    8. Campbell, John Y, 1996. "Understanding Risk and Return," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 298-345, April.
    9. Robert J. Barro, 2009. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 243-64, March.
    10. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Fiscal Limits in Advanced Economies," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 30(1), pages 33-47, 03.
    11. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2003. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete?," NBER Working Papers 9410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1995. "The equity premium: it's still a puzzle," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," Research Working Paper RWP 09-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    14. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
    15. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2010. "Inflation and the Fiscal Limit," NBER Working Papers 16495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
    17. Arellano, Cristina, 2008. "Default risk and income fluctuations in emerging economies," MPRA Paper 7867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Defaultable debt, interest rates, and the current account," Working Papers 04-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    19. Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 2002. "Dropping Out of Social Security," Working Papers wp022, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    20. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
    21. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 1992. "Tax policy and business fixed investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 141-170, March.
    22. Blake, David, 1996. "Efficiency, Risk Aversion and Portfolio Insurance: An Analysis of Financial Asset Portfolios Held by Investors in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1175-92, September.
    23. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
    24. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12642. 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: ()

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.