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Author:Karantounias, Anastasios G. 

Working Paper
Optimal Time-Consistent Taxation with Default

We study optimal time-consistent distortionary taxation when the repayment of government debt is not enforceable. The government taxes labor income or issues noncontingent debt in order to finance an exogenous stream of stochastic government expenditures. The government can repudiate its debt subject to some default costs, thereby introducing some state-contingency to debt. We are motivated by the fact that domestic sovereign default is an empirically relevant phenomenon, as Reinhart and Rogoff (2011) demonstrated. Optimal policy is characterized by two opposing incentives: an incentive to ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-12

Working Paper
Optimal Fiscal Policy with Recursive Preferences

I study the implications of recursive utility, a popular preference specification in macrofinance, for the design of optimal fiscal policy. Standard Ramsey tax-smoothing prescriptions are substantially altered. The planner overinsures by taxing less in bad times and more in good times, mitigating the effects of shocks. At the intertemporal margin, there is a novel incentive for introducing distortions that can lead to an ex-ante capital subsidy. Overall, optimal policy calls for a much stronger use of debt returns as a fiscal absorber, leading to the conclusion that actual fiscal policy is ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-07

Working Paper
A Tax Plan for Endogenous Innovation

In times when elevated government debt raises concerns about dimmer global growth prospects, we ask: How can the government provide incentives for innovation in a fiscally sustainable way? We address this question by examining the Ramsey problem of finding optimal tax and subsidy schemes in a model in which growth is endogenously sustained by risky innovation. We characterize the shadow value of growth and entry in the innovation sector. We find that a profit tax is required to replicate the first-best in order to balance the externalities associated with innovative activity. At the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-13

Working Paper
Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy

This paper analyzes optimal policy in setups where both the leader and the follower have doubts about the probability model of uncertainty. I illustrate the methodology in two environments: a) an industry populated with a large firm and many small firms in a competitive fringe, where both types of firms doubt the probability model of demand shocks, and b) a general equilibrium economy, where a policymaker taxes linearly the labor income of a representative household in order to finance an exogenous stream of stochastic spending shocks. The policymaker can distrust the probability model of ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-12

Working Paper
Fiscal Austerity in Ambiguous Times

This paper analyzes optimal fiscal policy with ambiguity aversion and endogenous government spending. We show that, without ambiguity, optimal surplus-to-output ratios are acyclical and that there is no rationale for either reduction or further accumulation of public debt. In contrast, ambiguity about the cycle can generate optimally policies that resemble "austerity" measures. Optimal policy prescribes higher taxes in adverse times and front-loaded fiscal consolidations that lead to a balanced primary budget in the long-run. This is the case when interest rates are sufficiently responsive ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2016-6

Working Paper
Overconfidence, Subjective Perception, and Pricing Behavior

We study the implications of overconfidence for price setting in a monopolistic competition setup with incomplete information. Our price-setters overestimate their abilities to infer aggregate shocks from private signals. The fraction of uninformed firms is endogenous; firms can obtain information by paying a fixed cost. We find two results: (1) overconfident firms are less inclined to acquire information, and (2) prices might exhibit excess volatility driven by nonfundamental noise. We explore the empirical predictions of our model for idiosyncratic price volatility.
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-14

Working Paper
Managing expectations and fiscal policy

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, ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2009-29

Discussion Paper
Model Uncertainty and Policy Design

This article illustrates the main challenges and forces that emerge in optimal policy design when there are doubts about the probability model of uncertainty. Model doubts can stem from either the side of the public or the side of the policymaker, and they can give rise to cautious probabilistic assessments. A basic idea that surfaces in setups with model uncertainty is the management of the public's pessimistic expectations by the policymaker. The article also presents several implications of this idea.
Policy Hub , Paper 2020-17

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