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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 Working Paper 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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  9. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Christian Gollier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2007. "Optimal Beliefs, Asset Prices, and the Preference for Skewed Returns," NBER Working Papers 12940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "A model of a systemic bank run," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 78-96, January.
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  17. 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.
  18. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  19. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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