IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt

  • Marco Battaglini
  • Steve Coate

This paper presents a dynamic political economy theory of public spending, taxation and debt. Policy choices are made by a legislature consisting of representatives elected by geographically-defined districts. The legislature can raise revenues via a distortionary income tax and by borrowing. These revenues can be used to finance a national public good and district-specific transfers (interpreted as pork-barrel spending). The value of the public good is stochastic, reflecting shocks such as wars or natural disasters. In equilibrium, policy-making cycles between two distinct regimes: “business-as-usual” in which legislators bargain over the allocation of pork, and “responsible-policy-making” in which policies maximize the collective good. Transitions between the two regimes are brought about by shocks in the value of the public good. In the long run, equilibrium tax rates are too high and too volatile, public good provision is too low, and debt levels are too high. In some environments, a balanced budget requirement can improve citizen welfare.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~mbattagl/DynDebt.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000001094.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 28 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001094
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michihiro Kandori, 2001. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-114, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Alberto Alesina, 2000. "The Political Economy of the Budget Surplus in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
  3. Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Debts and deficits with fragmented fiscal policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 105-125, April.
  4. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior Of U.S. Public Debt And Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963, August.
  5. Thomas J. Sargent & Marco Bassetto, 2004. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," 2004 Meeting Papers 3, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Lehrer, E, 1990. "Nash Equilibria of n-Player Repeated Games with Semi-standard Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 191-217.
  7. Ehud Kalai & William Stanford, 1986. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Discussion Papers 679, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. von Hagen, Jurgen & Harden, Ian J., 1995. "Budget processes and commitment to fiscal discipline," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 771-779, April.
  9. repec:rus:hseeco:72153 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2004. "Coordination Failure in Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-014, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 23 Mar 2005.
  11. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 1999. "Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1236, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Guillaume Fréchette & John H. Kagel & Massimo Morelli, 2005. "Behavioral Identification in Coalitional Bargaining: An Experimental Analysis of Demand Bargaining and Alternating Offers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1893-1937, November.
  14. V. Bhaskar & Ichiro Obara, . "Belief-Based Equilibria in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Penn CARESS Working Papers d93eb6f40c65728f9e1a7b114, Penn Economics Department.
  15. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001. "The survival of the welfare state," Economics Working Papers 603, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  16. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989. "The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information," Working papers 523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "A contribution to the theory of pork barrel spending," Staff Report 156, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Barro, Robert J., 1987. "Government spending, interest rates, prices, and budget deficits in the United Kingdom, 1701-1918," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 221-247, September.
  19. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  20. Acemoglu, Daron, 2003. "Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 620-652, December.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  23. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  25. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Scholarly Articles 3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 1992. "Long Term Competition-A Game Theoretic Analysis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 676, UCLA Department of Economics.
  27. Marco Battaglini & Stephen Coate, 2007. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policymaking: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 118-149, March.
  28. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
  29. V.V. Chari & Harold Cole, 1993. "Why are representative democracies fiscally irresponsible?," Staff Report 163, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  30. Timothy Besley & Michael Smart, 2005. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3769, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  31. Neyman, Abraham & Okada, Daijiro, 2000. "Repeated Games with Bounded Entropy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-247, February.
  32. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  33. 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.
  34. Bohn, Henning & Inman, Robert P., 1996. "Balanced-budget rules and public deficits: evidence from the U.S. states," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 13-76, December.
  35. Johannes Horner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2005. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private, Almost-Perfect Monitoring," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 172782000000000006, www.najecon.org.
  36. Barro, Robert J, 1986. " U.S. Deficits since World War I," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 195-22.
  37. Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, . ""Policy Persistence ''," CARESS Working Papres 95-19, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  38. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  39. Lizzeri, Alessandro, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 909-28, October.
  40. Henning Bohn & Robert P. Inman, . "Balanced Budget Rules and Public Deficits: Evidence from the U.S. States (Reprint 060)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 10-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  41. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1995. "Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: Policy Issues in Closed and Open Economies," Working Papers 95-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  43. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
  44. Neyman, Abraham & Okada, Daijiro, 1999. "Strategic Entropy and Complexity in Repeated Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 191-223, October.
  45. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
  46. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Oleg Tsyvinski, 2006. "Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms," 2006 Meeting Papers 348, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  47. Gossner, Olivier & Vieille, Nicolas, 2002. "How to play with a biased coin?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 206-226, November.
  48. Baron David & Kalai Ehud, 1993. "The Simplest Equilibrium of a Majority-Rule Division Game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 290-301, December.
  49. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, August.
  50. GOSSNER, Olivier & HERNANDEZ, Pénélope, 2001. "On the complexity of coordination," CORE Discussion Papers 2001047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  51. von Stengel, Bernhard & Koller, Daphne, 1997. "Team-Maxmin Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 309-321, October.
  52. William A. Niskanen, 1992. "The Case for a New Fiscal Constitution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 13-24, Spring.
  53. Piccione, Michele, 2002. "The Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 70-83, January.
  54. Moreno, Diego & Wooders, John, 1998. "An Experimental Study of Communication and Coordination in Noncooperative Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 47-76, July.
  55. Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 1997. "Efficiency in Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 345-361, October.
  56. Jeffrey C. Ely & Juuso Valimaki, 1999. "A Robust Folk Theorem for the Prisoner's Dilemma," Discussion Papers 1264, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  57. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  58. Inman, Robert P, 1990. "Public Debts and Fiscal Politics: How to Decide?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 81-85, May.
  59. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  60. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy With Noncontingent Debt And The Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131, August.
  61. Volkerink, Bjorn & De Haan, Jakob, 2001. " Fragmented Government Effects on Fiscal Policy: New Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(3-4), pages 221-42, December.
  62. Leblanc, William & Snyder, James Jr. & Tripathi, Micky, 2000. "Majority-rule bargaining and the under provision of public investment goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 21-47, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000001094. 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: (David K. Levine)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.