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Managing expectations and fiscal policy

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

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.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2009-29.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-29
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  1. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 12, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
  2. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1992. "Optimal fiscal policy in a stochastic growth model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 250-289, December.
  3. TallariniJr., Thomas D., 2000. "Risk-sensitive real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 507-532, June.
  4. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker & Christian Gollier, 2007. "Optimal Beliefs, Asset Prices, and the Preference for Skewed Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 159-165, May.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  6. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 2011. "Recursive Contracts," Working Papers 552, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Sleet, Christopher & Yeltekin, Sevin, 2006. "Optimal taxation with endogenously incomplete debt markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 36-73, March.
  8. Stephen Coate & Marco Battaglini, 2007. "A Dynamic Theory of Public Spending, Taxation and Debt," 2007 Meeting Papers 573, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  10. Chang, Roberto, 1998. "Credible Monetary Policy in an Infinite Horizon Model: Recursive Approaches," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 431-461, August.
  11. Marcet, Albert & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "Debt and deficit fluctuations and the structure of bond markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 473-501, March.
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2007. "Collective Risk Management in a Flight to Quality Episode," NBER Working Papers 12896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Lee, Junghoon & Roussanov, Nikolai, 2007. "Intertemporal Substitution and Risk Aversion," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 61 Elsevier.
  14. Anderson, Evan W., 2005. "The dynamics of risk-sensitive allocations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 93-150, December.
  15. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  16. Tomasz Strzalecki, . "Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences," Working Paper 8239, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  17. Harald Uhlig, 2009. "A Model of a Systemic Bank Run," NBER Working Papers 15072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Buera, Francisco & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2004. "Optimal maturity of government debt without state contingent bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 531-554, April.
  20. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  21. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005. "Robust estimation and control under commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 258-301, October.
  22. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-52, August.
  23. Emmanuel Farhi & Iván Werning, 2008. "Optimal Savings Distortions with Recursive Preferences," NBER Working Papers 13720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2009. "Ramsey Taxation and fear of misspecification," 2009 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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