IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt

  • Battaglini, Marco

    (Princeton U)

  • Coate, Stephen

    (Cornell U)

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 thecollective 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.

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: https://cae.economics.cornell.edu/07-04.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-04.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:corcae:07-04
Contact details of provider: Postal:
402 Uris Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853

Phone: (607) 255-9901
Fax: (607) 255-2818
Web page: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/econ/CAE/workingpapers.html

More information through EDIRC

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. 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.
  2. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2004. "Coordination Failure in Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1479R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Mar 2005.
  3. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1997. "Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: Policy Issues in Closed and Open Economies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 27-54, 03.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Why Is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Working Papers 297, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. 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).
  6. George J. Mailath & Stephen Morris, 2000. "Repeated Games with Almost-Public Monitoring," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0661, Econometric Society.
  7. Hassler, John & Mora, Jose & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002. "The Survival of the Welfare State," Seminar Papers 704, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  9. V. V. Chari & Harold L. Cole, 1993. "A contribution to the theory of pork barrel spending," Staff Report 156, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Marco Bassetto & Thomas Sargent, 2005. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," NBER Working Papers 11030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gossner, O. & Vieille, N., 1999. "How to play with a biased coin?," Papers 99-31, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
  12. Lehrer, E, 1990. "Nash Equilibria of n-Player Repeated Games with Semi-standard Information," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 19(2), pages 191-217.
  13. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  14. Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2005. "Inefficiency in Legislative Policy-Making: A Dynamic Analysis," Papers 08-09-2005, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  15. 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.
  16. Stephen Coate & Stephen Morris, . "Policy Persistence," CARESS Working Papres 97-2, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  17. Barro, Robert J, 1986. " U.S. Deficits since World War I," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 195-22.
  18. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
  19. Jeffrey Ely, 2000. "A Robust Folk Theorem for the Prisoners' Dilemma," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0210, Econometric Society.
  20. Bhaskar, V. & Obara, Ichiro, 2002. "Belief-Based Equilibria in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 40-69, January.
  21. 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.
  22. Neyman, Abraham & Okada, Daijiro, 2000. "Repeated Games with Bounded Entropy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 228-247, February.
  23. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Why Not a Political Coase Theorem? Social Conflict, Commitment and Politics," NBER Working Papers 9377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Kandori, Michihiro, 2002. "Introduction to Repeated Games with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 1-15, January.
  26. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Tristan Tomala & Olivier Gossner, 2004. "Secret correlation in repeated games with signals," Working Papers hal-00587232, HAL.
  30. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Johannes Horner & Wojciech Olszewski, 2005. "The Folk Theorem for Games with Private, Almost-Perfect Monitoring," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 172782000000000006, www.najecon.org.
  32. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  33. von Stengel, Bernhard & Koller, Daphne, 1997. "Team-Maxmin Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 309-321, October.
  34. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Eric Maskin, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2058, David K. Levine.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. Daron Acemoglu & Michael Golosov & Oleg Tsyvinski, 2006. "Markets Versus Governments: Political Economy of Mechanisms," 2006 Meeting Papers 348, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  39. Perotti, Roberto & Kontopoulos, Yianos, 2002. "Fragmented fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 191-222, November.
  40. Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 1992. "Long Term Competition-A Game Theoretic Analysis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 676, UCLA Department of Economics.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 1997. "Efficiency in Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 345-361, October.
  45. Henning Bohn, 1998. "The Behavior of U. S. Public Debt and Deficits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 949-963.
  46. V. V. Chari & Harold L. Cole, 1993. "Why are representative democracies fiscally irresponsible?," Staff Report 163, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  47. 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.
  48. Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Debts and deficits with fragmented fiscal policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 105-125, April.
  49. Kalai, Ehud & Stanford, William, 1988. "Finite Rationality and Interpersonal Complexity in Repeated Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 397-410, March.
  50. 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.
  51. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
  56. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, 07.
  57. Olivier Gossner & Tristan Tomala, 2006. "Empirical Distributions of Beliefs Under Imperfect Observation," Post-Print hal-00487960, HAL.
  58. 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.
  59. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy with Noncontingent Debt and the Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131.
  60. repec:rus:hseeco:72153 is not listed on IDEAS
  61. 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.
  62. Piccione, Michele, 2002. "The Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(1), pages 70-83, January.
  63. 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.
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:ecl:corcae:07-04. 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: ()

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.