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The Macroeconomics of Government Finance

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Abstract

This is a critical survey of the literature on the implications of government financial policy for economic activity. The central question is whether the choice of how to finance a given path of government expenditures (i.e., through taxes, nonmonetary debt or money creation) has any real effects. We first present measures of the budget deficit and review economists' views, over the past fifty years, of the burden of public debt, of the neutrality of money, and of fiscal and monetary policies. The earlier tradition and the recent literature differ in methodology, and we then discuss the "microfoundations" approach that dominates contemporary macroeconomics. This is followed by an evaluation of recent analyses, both theoretical and empirical, focusing on (I) the Debt Neutrality hypothesis of Robert Barro, (ii) the effects of the choice between tax- and money-financing of government expenditures, and especially the issues of monetary superneutrality and of the Fisher hypothesis, and (iii) the effects of open market operations.

Suggested Citation

  • James Tobin & Michael Haliassos, 1988. "The Macroeconomics of Government Finance," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 888, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:888
    Note: CFP 768.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bagnai, 2004. "Keynesian And Neoclassical Fiscal Sustainability Indicators, With Applications To Emu Member Countries," Public Economics 0411005, EconWPA.
    2. Azizi, Karim & Canry, Nicolas & Chatelain, Jean-Bernard & Tinel, Bruno, 2013. "Government Solvency, Austerity and Fiscal Consolidation in the OECD: A Keynesian Appraisal of Transversality and No Ponzi Game Conditions," EconStor Preprints 72550, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    3. Koustas, Zisimos & Serletis, Apostolos, 1999. "On the Fisher effect," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 105-130, August.
    4. Jamee K. Moudud & Ajit Zacharias, 2000. "Finance in a Classical and Harrodian Cyclical Growth Model," Macroeconomics 0004037, EconWPA.
    5. Rudi Dornbusch, 1996. "Debt and Monetary Policy: The Policy Issues," NBER Working Papers 5573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Zeinab Partow, 1995. "Una revisión de la Literatura sobre los Costos de la Inflación," Borradores de Economia 032, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Gabor Oblath & Akos Valentinyi, 1993. "Macroeconomic Policy, Liberalization and Transition: Hungary's Case," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0008, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Jamee K. Moudud & Ajit Zacharias, 1999. "The Social Wage, Welfare Policy, and the Phases of Capital Accumulation," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_291, Levy Economics Institute.
    9. Pierre-Yves Hénin, 1997. "Soutenabilité des déficits et ajustements budgétaires," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 48(3), pages 371-395.
    10. Thorbecke, Willem, 2002. "Budget deficits, inflation risk, and asset prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 539-553, August.
    11. Borgersen, Trond-Arne & King, Roswitha M., 2014. "Structural origins of debt-sustainability in mature and transition economies: Domar, Balassa–Samuelson and Maastricht," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 101-119.
    12. D'Ecclesia, Rita L. & Zenios, Stavros A., 2005. "Estimation of asset demands by heterogeneous agents," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 386-398, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government spending; fiscal policy; government policy; budget deficit;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General

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