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On the (De)Stabilizing Effect of Public Debt in a Ramsey Model with Heterogeneous Agents

Abstract : We introduce public debt in a Ramsey model with heterogenous agents and a public spending externality affecting utility which is financed by income tax and public debt. We show that public debt considered as a fixed portion of GDP can have a stabilizing or destabilizing effect depending on some fundamental elasticities. When the public spending externality is weak and the elasticity of capital labor substitution is low enough, public debt can only be destabilizing, generating damped or persistent macroeconomic fluctuations. Whereas when the public spending externality and the elasticity of capital labor substitution are strong enough, public debt can be stabilizing, driving to monotone convergence an economy experiencing damped or persistent fluctuations without debt.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 6, 2017 - 1:50:36 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:13:55 AM

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Kazuo Nishimura, Carine Nourry, Thomas Seegmuller, Alain Venditti. On the (De)Stabilizing Effect of Public Debt in a Ramsey Model with Heterogeneous Agents. International Journal of Economic Theory, Wiley, 2015, 11 (1), pp.7--24. ⟨10.1111/ijet.12049⟩. ⟨hal-01457303⟩

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