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The Perils of Tax Smoothing; Sustainable Fiscal Policy with Random Shocks to Permanent Output

Evan Tanner () and Kevin Carey ()

No 05/207, IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund

Abstract: If permanent output is uncertain, tax smoothing can be perilous: both debt levels and tax rates are difficult to stabilize and may drift upwards. One practical remedy would be to target the debt. However, our simulations confirm that such a policy would require undesirably volatile fiscal adjustments and may inhibit countercyclical borrowing. An alternative would be to link the primary surplus not only to the debt ratio (like tax smoothing) but also to its volatility, thus preempting further adjustments while gradually reducing the debt.

Keywords: Fiscal policy; Tax smoothing, sustainability, and forecast error, tax rates, statistics, standard deviation, statistic, forecast error, (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32
Date: 2005-11-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-for, nep-mac and nep-pbe
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