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Optimal Long-Run Fiscal Policy: Constraints, Preferences and the Resolution of Uncertainty

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  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Kevin A. Hassett

Abstract

We construct a computational dynamic stochastic overlapping generations general equilibrium model with uncertain lifetimes and explore the impact of policy stickiness (specifically, a major reform will preclude future reforms for a generation) on optimal long-run fiscal policy. Under such circumstances, entitlement reforms exhaust a valuable option to move in the future. We explore the conditions under which the gain to waiting is large enough to induce optimizing policymakers to delay reforming a suboptimal system. We also allow for the uncertainty to have ARCH characteristics and explore the impact of time-varying uncertainty on the optimality of delayed policy action.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2002. "Optimal Long-Run Fiscal Policy: Constraints, Preferences and the Resolution of Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 9132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Francesco Giuli & Marco Manzo, 2009. "Policy uncertainty, symbiosis, and the optimal fiscal and monetary conservativeness," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 461-474, November.
    2. Giovanni Di Bartolomeo & Marco Manzo, 2010. "Fiscal Policy Under Balanced Budget And Indeterminacy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(4), pages 455-472, September.
    3. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2011. "Fiscal Limits in Advanced Economies," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 30(1), pages 33-47, March.
    4. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Warren Sanderson, 2006. "A Dynamic Model of Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Working Papers wp134, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    5. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
    6. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B., 2010. ""Unfunded liabilities" and uncertain fiscal financing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 600-619, July.
    7. Hansen, Casper Worm & Lønstrup, Lars, 2009. "The optimal legal retirement age in an OLG model with endogenous labour supply," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 5/2009, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    8. Jorgensen, Ole Hagen, 2013. "Efficiency and equity implications of oil windfalls in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6597, The World Bank.
    9. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Frank Heiland, 2008. "Early Retirement, Labor Supply, and Benefit Withholding: The Role of the Social Security Earnings Test," Working Papers wp183, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    10. Torben Andersen, 2006. "Increasing Longevity and Social Security Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1789, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Daniel Harenberg & Alexander Ludwig, 2015. "Social security in an analytically tractable overlapping generations model with aggregate and idiosyncratic risks," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 579-603, August.
    12. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & A. Lans Bovenberg, 2009. "Pensions and Intergenerational Risk-sharing in General Equilibrium," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 364-386, April.
    13. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A. Lans & Romp, Ward E., 2011. "Funded pensions and intergenerational and international risk sharing in general equilibrium," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1516-1534.
    14. R. Beetsma & A. L. Bovenberg, 2006. "Pension systems, intergenerational risk sharing and inflation," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 257, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    15. KITAO Sagiri, 2016. "Policy Uncertainty and the Cost of Delaying Reform: A case of aging Japan," Discussion papers 16013, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. Torben Andersen, 2014. "Intergenerational redistribution and risk sharing with changing longevity," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 1-27, February.
    17. Torben Andersen, 2005. "Social Security and Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1577, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Torben M. Andersen & Marias H. Gestsson, 2010. "Longevity, Growth and Intergenerational Equity - The Deterministic Case," Economics wp52, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    19. Bohn, Henning, 2009. "Intergenerational risk sharing and fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 805-816, September.
    20. Lassila, Jukka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2007. "Longevity Adjustment of Pension Benefits," Discussion Papers 1073, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    21. Ansgar Belke, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus Packages and Uncertainty in Times of Crisis. Economic Policy for Open Economies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 25-46, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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