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

  • Salvador Ortigueira
  • Joana Pereira

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.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/41.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/41
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  1. 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.
  2. repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:3:p:789-808 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Ramon Marimon & Javier Díaz-Giménez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Pedro Teles, 2007. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fernando Martin, 2009. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 608-631, October.
  5. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2013. "Lack Of Commitment And The Level Of Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1053-1078, October.
  6. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2007. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," 2007 Meeting Papers 685, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Paul Klein & JosÈ-VÌctor RÌos-Rull, 2003. "Time-consistent optimal fiscal policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1217-1245, November.
  8. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Monetary Discretion, Pricing Complementarity and Dynamic Multiple Equilibria," NBER Working Papers 9929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  13. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  14. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-31, November.
  15. Salvador Ortigueira, 2006. "Markov-Perfect Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 153-178, January.
  16. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Andrew Blake & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2008. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in LQ RE Models," Discussion Papers 0813, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  18. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, June.
  19. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-V�ctor R�os-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  20. Jorge Soares, Marina Azzimonti, Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Pierre-Daniel Sarte & Jorge Soares, 2006. "Optimal Policy and (the Lack of) Time Inconsistency: Insights from Simple Models," Working Papers 06-08, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  21. Dominguez, Begona, 2007. "Public debt and optimal taxes without commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 159-170, July.
  22. Per Krusell & Fernando M. Martin & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2006. "Time Consistent Debt," 2006 Meeting Papers 210, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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