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Fiscal policy in open, interdependent economies


  • Willem H. Buiter


The paper studies the effects of alternative financing policies in the open economy.There is a non-trivial role for financial policy because of the failure of first-order debt neutrality due to uncertain private lifetimes. Both the single-country case and the interdependent two-country case are considered. Capital formation is endogenous and there are unified global financial and goods markets determining the interest rate, each country's"Tobin's q" and the terms of trade. The government's present value budget constraint or solvency constraint and the assumption that the interestrate exceeds the growth rate imply that, given spending, current tax cutsimply future tax increases. Such policies boost the outstanding stock of public debt, raise the world interest rate, crowd out capital formation at home and abroad, and lead to a loss of foreign assets. Provided a"supply-side-response-corrected" transfer criterion is satisfied, the terms of trade will improve in the short run and worsen in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Willem H. Buiter, 1984. "Fiscal policy in open, interdependent economies," NBER Working Papers 1429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1429
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buiter, Willem H, 1981. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 769-797, August.
    2. Miller, Marcus & Salmon, Mark, 1985. "Dynamic Games and the Time Inconsistency of Optimal Policy in Open Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 124-137, Supplemen.
    3. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
    4. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1984. "Budget Deficits and Rates of Interest in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 1354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    6. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1984. "Fiscal Policies, Debt, and International Economic Interdependence," NBER Working Papers 1266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Serven, Luis, 1995. "Capital goods imports, the real exchange rate and the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 79-101, August.
    2. Sweder van Wijnbergen, 1991. "Fiscal Deficits, Exchange Rate Crises and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 81-92.
    3. Van Wincoop, E. & Marrinan, J., 1993. "Public and Private Saving and Investment," Papers 546, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    4. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2001. "The International Macroeconomics of Taxation and the Case Against European Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 8217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fisher, Walter H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Keeping up with the ageing Joneses," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 53-64, January.
    6. Fillion, J.F., 1996. "L'endettement du Canada et ses effets sur les taux d'interet reels de long term," Staff Working Papers 96-14, Bank of Canada.
    7. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1987. "Fiscal Policies and the World Economy; An Intertemporal Approach (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987)," MPRA Paper 20438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sen, Partha & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1990. "Investment tax credit in an open economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 277-299, August.
    9. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1984. "The International Transmission of Fiscal Expenditures and Budget Deficits in the World Economy," NBER Working Papers 1527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. van de Klundert, T.C.M.J., 1987. "A macroeconomic two-country model with price-discriminating monopolists," Research Memorandum FEW 279, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Fisher, Walter H., 1995. "An optimizing analysis of the effects of world interest disturbances on the open economy term structure of interest rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 105-126, February.
    12. Mitchell, Peter R. & Sault, Joanne E. & Wallis, Kenneth F., 2000. "Fiscal policy rules in macroeconomic models: principles and practice," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 171-193, April.
    13. Jacob A. Frenkel & Steven A. Symansky & Assaf Razin, 1991. "International Vat Harmonization; Economic Effects," IMF Working Papers 91/22, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Piersanti, Giovanni, 2000. "Current account dynamics and expected future budget deficits: some international evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 255-271, April.
    15. Bhandari, Jagdeep S. & Ul Haque, Nadeem & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 1989. "Growth, debt, and sovereign risk in a small, open economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 260, The World Bank.
    16. Patrick Artus, 1992. "Réunification allemande, dynamique et contraintes. Un cadre d'analyse," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 43(5), pages 823-850.
    17. Faik Koray & K. Peren Arin, 2006. "International Transmission of Fiscal Shocks: An Empirical Investigation," Departmental Working Papers 2006-03, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.

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