Working Paper

Managing expectations and fiscal policy


Abstract: This paper studies an optimal fiscal policy problem of Lucas and Stokey (1983) but in a situation in which the representative agent's distrust of the probability model for government expenditures puts model uncertainty premia into history-contingent prices. This situation gives rise to a motive for expectation management that is absent within rational expectations and a novel incentive for the planner to smooth the shadow value of the agent's subjective beliefs to manipulate the equilibrium price of government debt. Unlike the Lucas and Stokey (1983) model, the optimal allocation, tax rate, and debt become history dependent despite complete markets and Markov government expenditures.

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: FRB Atlanta Working Paper

Publication Date: 2009

Number: 2009-29