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Is Coordination of Fiscal Deficits Necessary?

  • Harry Huizinga
  • Søren Bo Nielsen

National budget deficits can create externalities through their effects on international interest rates. This paper examines the scope for fiscal rules restricting government borrowing for the case where government revenues (on the margin) stem from capital income taxation. There is no need to coordinate national borrowing, if governments have access to both a saving and an investment tax instrument. In the absence of a saving tax, however, national fiscal policies affect welfare abroad through the international interest rate. A reduction in first period deficits tied to increased government spending later is always welfare improving. Reducing first period deficits without further coordination of subsequent tax and spending policies will generally not improve welfare.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 98-05.

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Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:98-05
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  1. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1996. "The Coordination of Capital Income and Profit Taxation with Cross-Ownership of Firms," Discussion Paper 1996-104, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  3. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Perspectives on High World Real Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 273-334.
  4. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1986. "The International Transmission and Effects of Fiscal Policies," NBER Working Papers 1799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:dgr:kubcen:1996104 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Michael Keen, 1993. "The welfare economics of tax co-ordination in the European Community : a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 15-36, February.
  7. repec:dgr:kubcen:199759 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Beetsma, Roel & Uhlig, Harald, 1997. "An Analysis of the 'Stability Pact'," CEPR Discussion Papers 1669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
  10. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1986. "Fiscal Policies and Real Exchange Rates in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 2065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
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