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Managing expectations and fiscal policy

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  • Anastasios G. Karantounias with Lars Peter Hansen
  • Thomas J. Sargent

Abstract

This paper studies an optimal fiscal policy problem of Lucas and Stokey (1983) but in a situation in which the representative agent's distrust of the probability model for government expenditures puts model uncertainty premia into history-contingent prices. This situation gives rise to a motive for expectation management that is absent within rational expectations and a novel incentive for the planner to smooth the shadow value of the agent's subjective beliefs to manipulate the equilibrium price of government debt. Unlike the Lucas and Stokey (1983) model, the optimal allocation, tax rate, and debt become history dependent despite complete markets and Markov government expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios G. Karantounias with Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2009. "Managing expectations and fiscal policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Young, Eric R., 2012. "Robust policymaking in the face of sudden stops," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 512-527.
    2. Joshua Congdon-Hohman & Anil Nathan & Justin Svec, 2013. "Student Uncertainty and Major Choice," Working Papers 1301, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    3. Martin Ellison & Thomas J. Sargent, 2012. "A Defense Of The Fomc," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1047-1065, November.
    4. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Paciello, Luigi, 2014. "Monetary policy, doubts and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 85-98.
    5. Francesco Caprioli & Pietro Rizza & Pietro Tommasino, 2011. "Optimal Fiscal Policy when Agents Fear Government Default," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 62(6), pages 1031-1043.
    6. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2010. "Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 85-102, Fall.
    7. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Fiscal Limits in Advanced Economies," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 30(1), pages 33-47, March.
    8. Svec, Justin, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with robust control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 349-368.
    9. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 289-314.
    10. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "Robustness and Macroeconomic Policy," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, September.
    11. Chahrour, Ryan & Svec, Justin, 2014. "Optimal capital taxation and consumer uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 178-198.
    12. Ignacio Presno & Anna Orlik, 2016. "On Credible Monetary Policies under Model Uncertainty," 2016 Meeting Papers 1280, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Orlik, Anna & Presno, Ignacio, 2013. "Optimal monetary policy under model uncertainty without commitment," Working Papers 13-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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