Public Debt as Private Wealth
Government bonds are interest-bearing assets. Increasing public debt increases income, wealth, and consumption demand. The smaller government expenditure is, the larger consumption demand must be in equilibrium, and the larger must be public debt. Conversely, lower public debt implies higher government spending and taxation. Public debt plays, thus, an important role in establishing equilibrium. It distributes output between consumers and government. In case of insufficient demand, a larger public debt entails higher consumption and less public spending. If upper bounds on public debt are introduced (as in the Maastricht treaty), such constraints place lower bounds on taxation and public spending or may even rule out the existence of macroeconomic equilibrium altogether. Domar(1944) and Gehrels(1957) have discussed similar issues in an unemployment setting. In contrast, this note considers the full employment case and looks at adjustments in debt, taxes and government spending that preserve full employment. The explicit modelling of some adjustment processes that have not been considered in the earlier contributions leads to somewhat different and, in a sense, more "debt-friendly" results.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Metroeconomica 4 57(2008-02): pp. 494-520|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstr. 28, 80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: http://www.vwl.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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..
- Barro, Robert J, 1989.
"The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 37-54, Spring.
- Barro, Robert J., 1979.
"On the Determination of the Public Debt,"
3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Robert-Paul Berben & Teunis Brosens, 2005.
"The Impact of Government Debt on Private Consumption in OECD Countries,"
DNB Working Papers
045, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
- Berben, Robert-Paul & Brosens, Teunis, 2007. "The impact of government debt on private consumption in OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 220-225, February.
- Sayer, Stuart, 1989. " Macroeconomic Theory and Policy," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 353-74.
- James M. Poterba, 2000. "Stock Market Wealth and Consumption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 99-118, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:2143. 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: (Tamilla Benkelberg)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.