Public Investment, Government Indebtedness and Transitional Dynamics
This paper considers an endogenous growth model with public capital and government debt. In setting the level of public investment each period, the government is assumed to follow two commonly used in the growth literature fiscal rules: public investment is either equal to a constant fraction of output or equal to a constant share of tax revenues. In our model, we allow revenues to be raised by the government through progressive income taxation and bonds issue. For both fiscal rules, we show that the potential occurrence of either indeterminacy or instability crucially depends on whether the government is a debtor or a creditor. In particular, government indebtedness causes the economy to be prone to either belief-driven aggregate fluctuations or unstable dynamics. This is a novel result in the related literature which has largely overlooked the role of public debt as a possible contributing factor to the presence of indeterminacy and instability in growth models.