Fiscal trade-offs: the relationship between output and debt in policy interventions

McManus, R. (2018) Fiscal trade-offs: the relationship between output and debt in policy interventions. The Manchester School, 86 (S1). ISSN 1467-9957.

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Implicit in fiscal policy debates is that there is a trade-off between output and debt outcomes; stimulus is at the expense of debt, and austerity at the expense of output.

This paper theoretically and empirically investigates this trade-off through analysing the relationship between traditional output multipliers and ‘debt multipliers’ (the impact of policy on government debt). Theoretically the elasticity between the two is the marginal tax rate from movements of output in response to policy. This leads to two further hypotheses: first, if the marginal tax rate in the private sector is higher than that in the public sector, changes in government spending will result in a larger impact on debt than changes in taxes; and second, ‘fiscal free lunches’ are possible with recent estimates of the output multiplier. Indeed, empirically we find that tax revenues increase from exogenous tax cuts when the response of output is high.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > The Business School
Depositing User: Richard McManus
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2018 15:16
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:45

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00