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Markov-Perfect Optimal Fiscal Policy: The Case of Unbalanced Budgets

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  • Salvador Ortigueira
  • Joana Pereira

Abstract

We study optimal income taxation and public debt policy in a neoclassical economy populated by infinitely-lived households and a benevolent government. The government makes sequential decisions on the provision of a valued public good, on income taxation and the issue of public debt. We characterize and compute Markov-perfect optimal fiscal policy in this economy with two payoff-relevant state variables: physical capital and public debt. We find two stable, steady-state equilibria: one with no income taxation and positive government asset holdings, and another with positive taxation and public debt issuances. We prove that the two steady states are associated with different policy rules, which implies a multiplicity of (expectation-driven) Markov-perfect equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvador Ortigueira & Joana Pereira, 2007. "Markov-Perfect Optimal Fiscal Policy: The Case of Unbalanced Budgets," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/41, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Niemann & Paul Pichler, 2017. "Collateral, Liquidity and Debt Sustainability," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(604), pages 2093-2126, September.
    2. Ricardo Nunes & Davide Debortoli, 2007. "Political Disagreement, Lack of Commitment and the Level of Debt," 2007 Meeting Papers 725, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Richard Dennis, 2013. "Asset Prices, Business Cycles, and Markov-Perfect Fiscal Policy when Agents are Risk-Sensitive," CAMA Working Papers 2013-69, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Niemann, Stefan, 2011. "Dynamic monetary–fiscal interactions and the role of monetary conservatism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 234-247.
    5. Niemann, S & Pichler, P & Sorger, G, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Without Commitment," Economics Discussion Papers 2897, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. Grechyna, Daryna, 2015. "Quantifying the Impact of Political Frictions on Public Policy," MPRA Paper 65266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Grechyna, Daryna, 2016. "Debt And Deficit Fluctuations In A Time-Consistent Setup," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(07), pages 1771-1794, October.
    8. Azzimonti, Marina & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel & Soares, Jorge, 2009. "Distortionary taxes and public investment when government promises are not enforceable," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1662-1681, September.
    9. Richard Dennis & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2010. "Expectations traps and coordination failures: selecting among multiple discretionary equilibria," Working Paper Series 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Grechyna, Daryna, 2016. "Political frictions and public policy outcomes," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 484-495.
    11. Martin, Fernando M., 2015. "Policy And Welfare Effects Of Within-Period Commitment," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(07), pages 1401-1426, October.
    12. Eric M Leeper & Campbell Leith & Ding Liu, 2016. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary, Fiscal and Debt Maturity Policy," Working Papers 2016_04, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    13. repec:esx:essedp:730 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; optimal public debt; Markov-perfect equilibrium; Time-consistent policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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