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Optimal time-consistent fiscal policy in an endogenous growth economy with public consumption and capital

In an endogenous growth model with public consumption and public investment, we explore the time-consistent optimal choice for two policy instruments: an income tax rate and the split of government spending between consumption and investment. We show that under the time-consistent, Markov policy, the economy lacks any transitional dynamics and also that there is local and global determinacy of equilibrium. We compare the Markovian optimal policy with the Ramsey policy as well as with the solution to the planner’s problem under lump-sum taxation. For empirically plausible parameter values we find that the Markov-perfect policy implies a higher tax rate and a larger proportion of government spending allocated to consumption than those chosen under a commitment constraint. As a result, economic growth is slightly lower under the Markov-perfect policy than under the Ramsey policy, with growth under lump-sum taxes being highest.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico in its series Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE with number 2013-23.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1323
Note: The authors thank financial support received from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through grant ECO2009-10398, the Research Groups funding program by Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Banco Santander, the Xunta de Galicia through Grant 10PXIB300177PR and the Research Grant program in Economics at Fundación Ramón Areces.
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  1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  2. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1997. "Productive government expenditures and long-run growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 183-204, January.
  3. Salvador Ortigueira, 2006. "Markov-Perfect Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 153-178, January.
  4. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2012. "Non-linear Effects of Taxation on Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 9261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
  6. Cazzavillan, Guido, 1996. "Public Spending, Endogenous Growth, and Endogenous Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 394-415, November.
  7. Malley, Jim & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Economides, George, 2002. "Testing for tax smoothing in a general equilibrium model of growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-315, June.
  8. Martin, Fernando M., 2010. "Markov-perfect capital and labor taxes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 503-521, March.
  9. Ambler, Steve & Pelgrin, Florian, 2010. "Time-consistent control in nonlinear models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2215-2228, October.
  10. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
  11. Azzimonti, Marina & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel & Soares, Jorge, 2009. "Distortionary taxes and public investment when government promises are not enforceable," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1662-1681, September.
  12. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  13. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Are consumption taxes really better than income taxes?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 475-503, June.
  14. Randall W. Eberts, 1986. "Estimating the contribution of urban public infrastructure to regional growth," Working Paper 8610, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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