IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/uwarer/270535.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Persistent Shocks

Author

Listed:
  • Halac, Marina
  • Yared, Pierre

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal level of discretion in policymaking. We consider a fiscal policy model where the government has time-inconsistent preferences with a present-bias towards public spending. The government chooses a fiscal rule to trade off its desire to commit to not overspend against its desire to have flexibility to react to privately observed shocks to the value of spending. We analyze the optimal fiscal rule when the shocks are persistent. Unlike under i.i.d. shocks, we show that the ex-ante optimal rule is not sequentially optimal, as it provides dynamic incentives. The ex-ante optimal rule exhibits history dependence, with high shocks leading to an erosion of future fiscal discipline compared to low shocks, which lead to the reinstatement of discipline. The implied policy distortions oscillate over time given a sequence of high shocks, and can force the government to accumulate maximal debt and become immiserated in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Halac, Marina & Yared, Pierre, 2012. "Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Persistent Shocks," Economic Research Papers 270535, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270535
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.270535
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270535/files/twerp_1014_halac.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/270535/files/twerp_1014_halac.pdf?subformat=pdfa
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.22004/ag.econ.270535?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary Chamberlain & Charles A. Wilson, 2000. "Optimal Intertemporal Consumption Under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 365-395, July.
    2. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "The Optimal Degree of Discretion in Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1431-1475, September.
    3. Ales, Laurence & Maziero, Pricila & Yared, Pierre, 2014. "A theory of political and economic cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 224-251.
    4. Manuel Amador & Iván Werning & George-Marios Angeletos, 2006. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 365-396, March.
    5. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2012. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico‐Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2785-2803, November.
    6. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Yared, Pierre, 2010. "Future rent-seeking and current public savings," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 124-136, November.
    7. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-732, May.
    8. Philip R. Lane & Aaron Tornell, 1999. "The Voracity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 22-46, March.
    9. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2008. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation, and Debt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 201-236, March.
    10. Pierre Yared, 2010. "Politicians, Taxes and Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 806-840.
    11. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
    12. Marek Kapicka, 2013. "Efficient Allocations in Dynamic Private Information Economies with Persistent Shocks: A First-Order Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1027-1054.
    13. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2006. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 257-279, April.
    14. Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-345.
    15. Maxim Troshkin & Aleh Tsyvinski & Mikhail Golosov, 2010. "Optimal Dynamic Taxes," 2010 Meeting Papers 320, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Christopher Sleet, 2004. "Optimal Taxation with Private Government Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1217-1239.
    17. repec:fth:starer:8415 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2011. "Growth in the Shadow of Expropriation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 651-697.
    19. Noah Williams, 2011. "Persistent Private Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1233-1275, July.
    20. Marco Battaglini & Rohit Lamba, 2012. "Optimal Dynamic Contracting," Working Papers 1431, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Econometric Research Program..
    21. Marco Battaglini, 2009. "On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," 2009 Meeting Papers 131, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
    23. Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruşçu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2010. "Temptation and Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 2063-2084, November.
    24. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    25. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
    26. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
    27. Fernandes, Ana & Phelan, Christopher, 2000. "A Recursive Formulation for Repeated Agency with History Dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 223-247, April.
    28. Marina Azzimonti, 2011. "Barriers to Investment in Polarized Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2182-2204, August.
    29. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E. Lucas, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution With Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 427-453.
    30. Emmanuel Farhi, 2013. "Insurance and Taxation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 596-635.
    31. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
    32. Mr. Alberto Alesina & Mr. Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Working Papers 1994/085, International Monetary Fund.
    33. Marina Halac, 2012. "Relational Contracts and the Value of Relationships," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 750-779, April.
    34. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1996. "Reconsideration-Proofness: A Refinement for Infinite Horizon Time Inconsistency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 33-54, July.
    35. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    36. Bruno Strulovici, 2011. "Renegotiation-Proof Contracts with Moral Hazard and Persistent Private Information," Discussion Papers 1519, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    37. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2008. "Political Economy of Mechanisms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 619-641, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marina Halac & Pierre Yared, 2017. "Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Self-Enforcement," NBER Working Papers 23919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ales, Laurence & Maziero, Pricila & Yared, Pierre, 2014. "A theory of political and economic cycles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 224-251.
    3. Marina Halac & Pierre Yared, 2018. "Fiscal Rules and Discretion in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(8), pages 2305-2334, August.
    4. Halac, Marina & Yared, Pierre, 2019. "Fiscal Rules and Discretion under Limited Enforcement," CEPR Discussion Papers 14218, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Yared, Pierre, 2010. "Future rent-seeking and current public savings," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 124-136, November.
    6. Grechyna, Daryna, 2016. "Political frictions and public policy outcomes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 484-495.
    7. Golosov, M. & Tsyvinski, A. & Werquin, N., 2016. "Recursive Contracts and Endogenously Incomplete Markets," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 725-841, Elsevier.
    8. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    9. Bowen, T. Renee & Chen, Ying & Eraslan, Hülya & Zápal, Jan, 2017. "Efficiency of flexible budgetary institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 148-176.
    10. Veronica Grembi & Tommaso Nannicini & Ugo Troiano, 2011. "Policy Responses to Fiscal Restraints: A Difference-in-Discontinuities Design," Working Papers 397, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    11. Fatás, Antonio & Ghosh, Atish & Panizza, Ugo & Presbitero, Andrea, 2019. "The Motives to Borrow," CEPR Discussion Papers 13735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Marcela De Castro-Valderrama, 2021. "Present-biased Government, Creative Accounting and a Pitfall in Balanced Budget Rules," Borradores de Economia 1183, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    13. Christian Moser & Pedro Olea de Souza e Silva, 2019. "Optimal Paternalistic Savings Policies," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 17, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    14. Timothy Besley & Ethan Ilzetzki & Torsten Persson, 2013. "Weak States and Steady States: The Dynamics of Fiscal Capacity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 205-235, October.
    15. Grechyna, Daryna, 2015. "Quantifying the Impact of Political Frictions on Public Policy," MPRA Paper 65266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Scholl, Almuth, 2017. "The dynamics of sovereign default risk and political turnover," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 37-53.
    17. Acemoglu, Daron & Golosov, Mikhail & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Political economy of Ramsey taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 467-475, August.
    18. Arai, Real & Naito, Katsuyuki & Ono, Tetsuo, 2018. "Intergenerational policies, public debt, and economic growth: A politico-economic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 39-52.
    19. Barseghyan, Levon & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2013. "Fiscal policy over the real business cycle: A positive theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2223-2265.
    20. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Eyigungor, Burcu, 2016. "Continuous Markov equilibria with quasi-geometric discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 467-494.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270535. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: AgEcon Search (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.