IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

To Starve or Not to Starve the Beast?

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Kumhof
  • Daniel Leigh
  • Douglas Laxton

For thirty years prominent voices have advocated a policy of starving the beast cutting taxes to force government spending cuts. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic and welfare consequences of this policy using a two-country general equilibrium model. Under several strong assumptions the policy, if fully implemented, produces domestic output and welfare gains accompanied by losses elsewhere. But negative effects can easily arise in the presence of longer policy implementation lags, utility-enhancing government spending, and productive government capital. Overall, the analysis finds no support for the idea that starving the beast is a foolproof way towards higher output and welfare.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=24178
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 10/199.

as
in new window

Length: 36
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2010
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/199
Contact details of provider: Postal:
International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA

Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htm
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Alan J. Auerbach, 2000. "Formation of fiscal policy: the experience of the past twenty-five years," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 9-23.
  2. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  3. Henning Bohn, "undated". "Budget Balance Through Revenue or Spending Adjustments ? Some Historical Evidence for the United States (Reprint 013)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Gali­, Jordi & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2008. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a currency union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 116-132, September.
  5. Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas, 2013. "Fiscal deficits and current account deficits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 2062-2082.
  6. Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 37-49, March.
  7. Forni, Lorenzo & Gerali, Andrea & Pisani, Massimiliano, 2010. "The macroeconomics of fiscal consolidations in euro area countries," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1791-1812, September.
  8. Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher L. House, 2006. "Phased-In Tax Cuts and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1835-1849, December.
  9. Pasquale Scaramozzino & Giancarlo Marini, 2000. "Social time preference," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(4), pages 639-645.
  10. Ireland, Peter N., 2001. "Sticky-price models of the business cycle: Specification and stability," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-18, February.
  11. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
  12. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  13. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher J. Gust, 2005. "Expansionary fiscal shocks and the trade deficit," International Finance Discussion Papers 825, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1989. "Why a Stubborn Conservative would Run a Deficit: Policy with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 325-345.
  15. Ganelli, Giovanni, 2005. "The new open economy macroeconomics of government debt," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 167-184, January.
  16. Velculescu Delia, 2004. "Intergenerational Habits, Fiscal Policy, and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, September.
  17. Jordi Galí & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2007. "Understanding the Effects of Government Spending on Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 227-270, 03.
  18. William A. Niskanen, 2006. "Limiting Government: The Failure of Starve the Beast," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 26(3), pages 553-558, Fall.
  19. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
  20. Bayoumi, Tamim & Sgherri, Silvia, 2006. "Mr Ricardo's Great Adventure: Estimating Fiscal Multipliers in a Truly Intertemporal Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Bohn, Henning, 1991. "Budget balance through revenue or spending adjustments? : Some historical evidence for the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 333-359, June.
  22. Leeper, Eric M. & Yang, Shu-Chun Susan, 2008. "Dynamic scoring: Alternative financing schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 159-182, February.
  23. Farmer, Roger E.A., 2010. "How to reduce unemployment: A new policy proposal," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 557-572, July.
  24. Auerbach, Alan J. & Gale, William G. & Orszag, Peter R., 2006. "New Estimates of the Budget Outlook: Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est la Meme Chose," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt4650s8nz, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  25. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Weinzierl, Matthew, 2006. "Dynamic scoring: A back-of-the-envelope guide," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1415-1433, September.
  26. Chadha, Jagjit S. & Nolan, Charles, 2007. "Optimal simple rules for the conduct of monetary and fiscal policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 665-689, December.
  27. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2006. "The Costs of Fiscal Inflexibility - Extended," Working Papers 2005_23, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  28. Eric M. Engen & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2005. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 83-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-432, March.
  30. Thomas Laubach, 2009. "New Evidence on the Interest Rate Effects of Budget Deficits and Debt," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 858-885, 06.
  31. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-lewis, 2006. "The Costs of Fiscal Inflexibility," WEF Working Papers 0005, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  32. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
  33. R. Glenn Hubbard & Eric M. Engen, 2004. "Federal Government Debt and Interest Rates," AEI Economics Working Papers 50018, American Enterprise Institute.
  34. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  35. Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2003. "Monetary rules for small, open, emerging economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1109-1146, July.
  36. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Expansionary Fiscal Shocks and the US Trade Deficit," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 363-397, December.
  37. William G. Gale & Peter R. Orszag, 2004. "Budget Deficits, National Saving, and Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 101-210.
  38. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "Overlapping families of infinitely-lived agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-198, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow)

or (Hassan Zaidi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.