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Secular Stagnation, Rational Bubbles, and Fiscal Policy

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  • Coen N. Teulings

    () (Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM)
    University of Cambridge)

Abstract

It is well known that rational bubbles can be sustained in balanced growth path of a deterministic economy when the return to capital r is equal to the growth rate g. When there is a lack of stores of value, bubbles can implement an efficient allocation. This paper considers a world where r fluctuates over time due to shocks to the marginal productivity of capitol. Then, bubbles further efficiency, though they cannot implement first best. While bubbles can only be sustained when r = g in a deterministic economy, r > g "on average" in a stochastic economy. Fiscal policy improves welfare by adding an extra asset. Where only the elderly contribute to shifting resources between investment and consumption in a bubble economy, fiscal policy allows part of that burden to be shifted to the young. Contrary to common wisdom, trade in bubbly assets implements intergenerational transfers, while fiscal policy implements intragenerational transfers. Hence, while bubbles and fiscal policy are perfect substitutes in the deterministic economy, fiscal policy dominates bubbles in a stochastic economy. For plausible parameter values, a higher degree of dynamic inefficiency should lead to a higher sovereign debt.

Suggested Citation

  • Coen N. Teulings, 2016. "Secular Stagnation, Rational Bubbles, and Fiscal Policy," Discussion Papers 1628, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1628
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    Cited by:

    1. Abu Jalal & Shahriar Khaksari, 2020. "Cash cycle: A cross‐country analysis," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 635-671, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rational bubbles; Fiscal policy; Secular stagnation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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