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Fiscal Deficits and Relative Prices in a Growing World Economy

  • Maurice Obstfeld

This paper studies the transmission of fiscal disturbances between countries, and the effect of those disturbances on worldwide capital intensity, in a context of growth. The model developed to address these issues allows for the production of both nontradable and relatively capital-intensive tradable goods; a central finding is that factor markets can be a major channel for the communication of fiscal policy shocks to world interest rates, to private saving decisions, and, ultimately, to global asset supplies and their distribution among countries. Particular predictions of the model illustrate how changes in public debt ratios and shifts in government spending patterns affect resource allocation and welfare. For example, an increase in a small country's per capita public debt leads to long-run crowding-in of capital and the impoverishment of future generations; a similar policy shift by a large country crowds out capital on a global scale, impoverishes future domestic generations, and has ambiguous effects abroad.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2725.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2725.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 23, No.3, pp. 461-484, (May 1989).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2725
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. James Tobin, 1986. "The Monetary-Fiscal Mix: Long-Run Implications," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 780, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Kent P. Kimbrough, 1985. "Capital Controls and Fiscal Policy in the World Economy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(4), pages 743-65, November.
  4. Engel, Charles & Kletzer, Kenneth, 1989. "Saving and Investment in an Open Economy with Non-traded Goods," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 735-52, November.
  5. Torsten Persson, 1983. "Deficits and Intergenerational Welfare in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "The Capital Inflows Problem Revisited: A Stylized Model of Southern Cone Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 1456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Razin, Assaf, 1984. "Capital movements, intersectoral resource shifts and the trade balance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 135-152.
  8. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1986. "Deficits with Distortionary Taxes: International Dimensions," NBER Working Papers 2080, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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..
  10. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Perceived Wealth in Bonds and Social Security: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 331-36, April.
  11. 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 769-97, August.
  12. David Romer, 1988. "What are the Costs of Excessive Deficits?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 63-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jacob A. Frenkel & Assaf Razin, 1986. "The International Transmission and Effects of Fiscal Policies," NBER Working Papers 1799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Neary, Peter J & Purvis, Douglas D, 1981. "Real Adjustment and Exchange-rate Dynamics," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 203, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  15. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-32, March.
  16. Giovannini, Alberto, 1988. "The real exchange rate, the capital stock, and fiscal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1747-1767, November.
  17. McCallum, Bennett T, 1984. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 123-35, February.
  18. Fried, Joel & Howitt, Peter, 1988. "Fiscal deficits, international trade and welfare," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
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