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Fiscal Policy and Learning

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  • Evans, George W.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo
  • Mitra, Kaushik

Abstract

What is the impact of surprise and anticipated policy changes when agents form expectations using adaptive learning rather than rational expectations? We examine this issue using the standard stochastic real business cycle model with lump-sum taxes. Agents combine knowledge about future policy with econometric forecasts of future wages and interest rates. Both permanent and temporary policy changes are analyzed. Dynamics under learning can have large impact effects and a gradual hump-shaped response, and tend to be prominently characterized by oscillations not present under rational expectations. These fluctuations reflect periods of excessive optimism or pessimism, followed by subsequent corrections.

Suggested Citation

  • Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2012. "Fiscal Policy and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 8891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8891
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mitra, Kaushik & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2013. "Policy change and learning in the RBC model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1947-1971.
    2. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    3. Cole, Stephen, 2016. "The limits of central bank forward guidance under learning," MPRA Paper 70862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
    5. Cole, Stephen, 2015. "Learning and the effectiveness of central bank forward guidance," MPRA Paper 65207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expectations; Government Spending; Permanent and temporary policy changes; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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