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Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes

  • Kimball, Miles S.
  • Mankiw, N. Gregory

This paper analyzes the effects of government debt and income taxes on consumption and saving in a world of infinitely lived house- holds having uncertain and heterogeneous incomes. The special structure of the model allows exact aggregation across households despite incomplete markets. The effects of government debt are shown to be substantial, roughly comparable to those resulting from finite horizons, and crucially dependent on the length of time until the debt is repaid. Also, anticipated changes in taxes are shown to cause anticipated changes in consumption. Finally, an index of fiscal stance is derived.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3443105.

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Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3443105
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  1. Barsky, Robert B & Mankiw, N Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1986. "Ricardian Consumers with Keynesian Propensities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 676-91, September.
  2. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
  3. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-87, December.
  4. Chan, Louis Kuo Chi, 1983. "Uncertainty and the neutrality of government financing policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 351-372.
  5. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  7. Dreze, Jacques H. & Modigliani, Franco, 1972. "Consumption decisions under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 308-335, December.
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