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On the Efficiency-Effects of Private (Dis-)Trust in the Government


  • Herbert Dawid

    () (Department of Economics, University of Bielefeld)

  • Christophe Deissenberg

    () (Department of Economics and GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille II)


We consider a continuous-time version of Ireland's Neo-Keynesian reinterpretation of the seminal Kydland-Prescott model, assuming now an heterogenous private sector. In each period, a fraction of the private agents naively believes the policy announcements made by the government. The other agents, who know the current number of non-believers in the economy, are utility-maximizers. The fraction of agents who believe the government changes over time according to a Word of Mouth learning process, that depends upon the difference between the payoffs they obtain and the payoffs realized by the non-believers. The government minimizes its cumulated loss through its choice of policy announcement and realized policy. We show that the economy can have two stable equilibria. At one of these, all agents act rationally. At the other equilibrium, which is associated with a higher average utility of the private sector, a positive percentage of the agents trusts the government. The two equilibria are separated by a Skiba point associated with an unstable spiral of the canonical system. Thus, the initial fraction of believers in the economy can have drastic consequences for the economic policy followed and the losses experienced by the different agents. Moreover, the flexibility of the private sector in reacting to the losses' difference proves to be crucial. Independently of the number of believers in the economy, the government losses monotonically increase with the flexibility. The private sector, on the other hand, is best off for an intermediate level of flexibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Herbert Dawid & Christophe Deissenberg, "undated". "On the Efficiency-Effects of Private (Dis-)Trust in the Government," Modeling, Computing, and Mastering Complexity 2003 25, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:cplx03:25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ireland, Peter N., 2000. "Expectations, Credibility, And Time-Consistent Monetary Policy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 448-466, December.
    2. Thomas Vallee & Christophe Deissenberg & Tamer Basar, "undated". "Optimal Open Loop Cheating in Dynamic Reversed LQG Stackelberg Games," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 125, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Cho, In-Koo & Matsui, Akihiko, 1995. "Induction and the Ramsey policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1113-1140.
    4. Michel, Philippe, 1982. "On the Transversality Condition in Infinite Horizon Optimal Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 975-985, July.
    5. Grune, Lars & Semmler, Willi, 2004. "Using dynamic programming with adaptive grid scheme for optimal control problems in economics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2427-2456, December.
    6. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "Sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-108, November.
    7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Deissenberg & Herbert Dawid & Pavel Sevcik, 2004. "Cheap Talk, Gullibility, and Welfare in an Environmental Taxation Game," Working Papers 2004.137, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Oh, Hyungna & Hong, Jong Ho, 2012. "Citizens’ trust in government and their willingness-to-pay," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 345-347.
    3. Jasmina ARIFOVIC & Murat YILDIZOGLU, 2014. "Learning the Ramsey outcome in a Kydland & Prescott economy," Cahiers du GREThA 2014-06, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    4. Moghayer, S. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2009. "Genesis of indifference thresholds and infinitely many indifference points in discrete time infinite horizon optimisation problems," CeNDEF Working Papers 09-14, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    5. John E. Anderson, 2017. "Trust in Government and Willingness to Pay Taxes in Transition Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 59(1), pages 1-22, March.

    More about this item


    Macroeconomic policy-making; Kydland-Prescott model; heterogenous agents; word of mouth learning; reputation; credibility; multiple equilibria; Skiba points.;

    JEL classification:

    • C69 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Other
    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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