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The Effect of Fiscal Rules on Public Investment if Budget Deficits Are Politically Motivated

  • Robert A.J. Dur

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Ben D. Peletier

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Otto H. Swank

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Uncertainty about the future preferences of the government may induce policy makers to run excessive budget deficits. As a solution to this problem, economists have proposed to impose a binding debt rule. In this paper we argue that a binding debt rule does not eliminate the distortions due to strategic behaviour of politicians. Rather, strategic manipulation shifts from public debt to public investment. As an alternative, we examine the effects of a capital borrowing rule which permits the government to run a budget deficit equal to the amount of public investment. We show that this rule effectively eliminates strategic behaviour.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 9801003.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 1998
Date of revision: 25 Feb 1999
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9801003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Roubini, Nouriel, 1991. "Economic and political determinants of budget deficits in developing countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1, Supple), pages S49-S72, March.
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  3. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1997. "Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: Policy Issues in Closed and Open Economies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 27-54, 03.
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  7. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-13, December.
  9. Alesina, Alberto F & Cohen, Gerald D & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies," CEPR Discussion Papers 608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "Good, Bad or Ugly? On the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1989. "Government Spending and Budget Deficits in the Industrial Economies," NBER Working Papers 2919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James Poterba, 1992. "Capital Budgets, Borrowing Rules, and State Capital Spending," NBER Working Papers 4235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
  16. Lizzeri, Alessandro, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 909-28, October.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Gerald D. Cohen & Nouriel Roubini, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy And Elections In Oecd Democracies," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, 03.
  18. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  20. Alesina, Alberto & Cohen, Gerald D. & Roubini, Nouriel, 1993. "Electoral business cycle in industrial democracies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, March.
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