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Government Budget Deficits in Large Open Economies


  • Willem H. Buiter
  • Anne Sibert


Large and growing levels of public debt in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and the Euro Area raise new interest in the cross-country effects of a large open economy’s deficits. We consider a dynamic optimising model with costly tax collection and exogenously given public spending and initial debt. We ask whether the externalities associated with an individual country’s deficits are positive or negative. We characterise the path of taxes in the Nash equilibrium where policy makers act nationalistically and compare this outcome to the global optimal outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Willem H. Buiter & Anne Sibert, 2011. "Government Budget Deficits in Large Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3476, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3476

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
    2. Buiter, Willem H. & Kletzer, Kenneth M., 1991. "The welfare economics of cooperative and noncooperative fiscal policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 215-244.
    3. Kaplow, Louis, 1990. "Optimal taxation with costly enforcement and evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 221-236, November.
    4. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    5. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    6. Chamley, Christophe, 1981. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 468-496, June.
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    More about this item


    fiscal policy; international policy coordination; optimal taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation


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