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Fiscal reaction rules in numerical macro models

  • Richard Johnson
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    To avoid exploding government debt, numerical macro models require ‘fiscal reaction rules’. Present rules impose arbitrary, backward-looking reaction of taxes to deviations of the debt ratio from a target. Arbitrary models may be poor guides to monetary policy. An optimising fiscal policy-maker would look forward, and maximise an objective function. A simple optimising model implies the future tax rate should be constant. I implement the constant-future-tax rule in the IMF’s MULTIMOD model. Simulations show model outcomes’ sensitivity to the choice of fiscal rule. A constant tax rate induces smoother and hence preferable consumption paths to MULTIMOD’s existing rule.

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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 01-01.

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    Date of creation: 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp01-01
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    1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1998. "The A-K Model: It's Past, Present, and Future," NBER Working Papers 6684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Mitchell, Peter R. & Sault, Joanne E. & Wallis, Kenneth F., 2000. "Fiscal policy rules in macroeconomic models: principles and practice," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 171-193, April.
    3. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Term structure views of monetary policy under alternative models of agent expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 149-184, January.
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    8. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Frederico S. Finan & Robert Tetlow, 1999. "Optimal control of large, forward-looking models efficient solutions and two examples," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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