Debt limits and endogenous growth
This paper studies the consequences on growth and welfare of imposing limits to public borrowing. In the model economy, government spending may play two different roles, either as input in the production function, or providing services directly in the utility function. In these setups I study the effects of different fiscal policies with and without debt limits both in the balanced growth path and during the transitional dynamics. In the long run, if there is no limit, the growth effects of raising labor income taxes are negative, regardless of the role of government spending. However, the role public spending is crucial for the growth effects of changes in the ratio of public expenditures to output. In the presence of a limit to debt, higher labor tax rates have a positive effect on growth if government spending is productive. The opposite is true when private capital drives growth. Regarding welfare, raising labor income taxes imply a lower welfare cost of reducing debt than does cutting government spending, when this is productive.
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