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Fiscal sustainability and public debt in an endogenous growth model

  • Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús
  • Vidal, Jean-Pierre

This paper investigates fiscal sustainability in an overlapping generations economy with endogenous growth coming from human capital formation through educational spending. We assess how budgetary imbalances affect economic dynamics and the outlook for economic growth, thereby providing a rationale for fiscal rules ensuring sustainability. Our results show that the appropriate response of fiscal policy to temporary shocks is not trivial in the absence of fiscal rules. Fiscal rules allow for a timely reaction, thereby avoiding possibly disruptive fiscal adjustment in the future: the more adjustment is delayed, the larger is its necessary scale. We perform a rough calibration of the model to simulate the effects of a demographic shock (change in the population growth rate) under different fiscal policy scenarios. JEL Classification: E62, H63, H55, O41, E17

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0395.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040395
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  1. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "Good, Bad or Ugly? On the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  3. Annicchiarico, Barbara & Giammarioli, Nicola, 2004. "Fiscal rules and sustainability of public finances in an endogenous growth model," Working Paper Series 0381, European Central Bank.
  4. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2004. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Working Paper Series 0386, European Central Bank.
  5. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  6. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  7. Rankin, Neil & Roffia, Barbara, 1999. "Maximum Sustainable Government Debt in the Overlapping Generations Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 2076, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Ten Commandments for a Fiscal Rule in the E(M)U," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 84-99.
  9. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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