Vito Moramarco

Gli effetti del debito pubblico quando la ricchezza è un fine

  • Abstract

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Common wisdom in economics suggests that, if consumption is not affected by the rate of interest, the hypothesis of Ricardian equivalence implies neutrality of public debt concerning the structure of aggregate demand. More precisely, an expansion of government expenditure financed through bonds is strictly equivalent to a budget balanced expansive policy. Government bonds induce real effects on consumption only if Ricardian equivalence doesn't hold, i.e., whenever individuals are not forward-looking or not fully altruistic concerning future generations. In this paper I argue that the above result relies upon the idea that wealth does not enter the underlying utility function directly. Assuming the alternative point of view (i.e., both the dynamics of consumption and of wealth are a source of welfare) the paper shows how neutrality may not hold even when the Ricardian equivalence is fully operative and interest rates remain constant.

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