IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2004. "Time consistent fiscal policies in a Ramsey economy," Working Papers 522, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:522

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659 Elsevier.
    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. 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.
    4. Karp, Larry & Lee, In Ho, 2003. "Time-consistent policies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 353-364, October.
    5. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini & G. Leitmann, 2004. "Perfect Uncontrollable Differential Games," Working Papers 509, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    8. Levine, David K & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1995. "When Are Agents Negligible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1160-1170, December.
    9. 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.
    10. 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, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Xie, Danyang, 1997. "On Time Inconsistency: A Technical Issue in Stackelberg Differential Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 412-430, October.
    13. 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, March.
    14. Kydland, Finn, 1977. "Equilibrium solutions in dynamic dominant-player models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 307-324, August.
    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 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:16:y:2014:i:02:n:s0219198914400118 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Baldini, Massimo & Lambertini, Luca, 2011. "Profit taxation and capital accumulation in a dynamic oligopoly model," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 13-18, January.
    3. Luca Lambertini, 2014. "Exploration For Nonrenewable Resources In A Dynamic Oligopoly: An Arrovian Result," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 16(02), pages 1-11.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:bol:bodewp:522. 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: (Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.