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Time consistent fiscal policies in a Ramsey economy

  • R. Cellini
  • L. Lambertini

This paper revisits a well-known case of optimal fiscal policy in a Ramsey model where consumer utility is defined over consumption and public goods. We show that normalising the size of the population to one eliminates the scope for active policy-making since the decentralised equilibrium coincides with social planning. Then, we modify the model to allow for a population of N > 1 agents, whereby restoring the role of the government as a policymaker. Both in the Stackelberg case and in the decentralised game, we prove that optimal fiscal policy and consumption are not only time consistent but also subgame perfect.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 522.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:522
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  1. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  2. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  3. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini & G. Leitmann, 2004. "Perfect Uncontrollable Differential Games," Working Papers 509, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Kydland, Finn, 1977. "Equilibrium solutions in dynamic dominant-player models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 307-324, August.
  5. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2004. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 541-567, 03.
  6. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, November.
  8. Daniel Cohen & Philippe Michel, 1988. "How Should Control Theory Be Used to Calculate a Time-Consistent Government Policy?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 263-274.
  9. David K. Levine & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1995. "When Are Agents Negligible?," Levine's Working Paper Archive 96, David K. Levine.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2235, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Karp, Larry & Lee, In Ho, 2003. "Time-consistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 353-364, October.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  13. Danyang Xie, 2002. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Macroeconomics 0212004, EconWPA.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  15. 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 473-91, June.
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