IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

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

in new window

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

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  2. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti, 2000. "Good, Bad or Ugly?on the Effects of Fiscal Rules with Creative Accounting," IMF Working Papers 00/172, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Giancarlo Corsetti & Nouriel Roubini, 1995. "Politically Motivated Fiscal Deficits: Policy Issues in Closed and Open Economies," Working Papers 95-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 1997. "Fiscal Rules and the Budget Process," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 56(1-2), pages 5-40, June.
  5. 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.
  6. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  7. James Poterba, 1992. "Capital Budgets, Borrowing Rules, and State Capital Spending," NBER Working Papers 4235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sebastian Edwards & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "Explaining Fiscal Policies and Inflation in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cohen, Gerald & Alesina, Alberto & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Macroeconomic Policy and Elections in OECD Democracies," Scholarly Articles 4553023, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," CEPR Discussion Papers 269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Glazer, Amihai, 1989. "Politics and the Choice of Durability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1207-13, December.
  13. Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. "Does Political Reform Increase Wealth?: Or, Why the Difference between the Chicago and Virginia Schools Is Really an Elasticity Question," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(3-4), pages 219-27, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1989. "Government Spending and Budget Deficits in the Industrial Economies," NBER Working Papers 2919, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jakob Haan & Jan Sturm & Bernd Sikken, 1996. "Government capital formation: Explaining the decline," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 132(1), pages 55-74, March.
  17. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
  19. 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.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1995. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 1-31, March.
  21. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Fiscal Discipline and the Budget Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 401-07, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9801003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.