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Fiscal Policy, Macroeconomic Stability and Finite Horizons

  • Javier Andres
  • Rafael Domenech
  • Campbell Leith

In this paper we analyse the stabilisation properties of distortionary taxes in a New Keynesian model with overlapping generations of finitely-lived consumers. In this framework, government debt is part of net wealth and this adds a number of interesting channels through which fiscal policy could affect output and inflation. Output volatility, in presence of technology shocks, is not substantially affected by the operation of automatic stabilisers but we find interesting composition effects. While the presence of finitely-lived households strengthens the stabilisation performance of distortionary taxes through the reduction of the volatility of consumption, it does so at the cost of more volatile investment and real balances. These conflicting responses add up to a very small overall welfare losses associated with distortionary taxation.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2003_18.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision: Oct 2003
Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2003_18
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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  2. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "Interactions between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C93-108, March.
  3. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
  4. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  7. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
  8. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  9. Javier Andrés & Rafael Doménech, 2003. "Automatic stabilizers, fiscal rules and macroeconomic stability," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0314, Banco de Espa�a.
  10. Jean-Pascal Benassy, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Optimal Monetary Rules in a non Ricardian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 498-512, July.
  11. Agresti, Anna Maria & Mojon, Benoît, 2001. "Some stylised facts on the euro area business cycle," Working Paper Series 0095, European Central Bank.
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