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Dynamic Inefficiency and Fiscal Interventions in an Economy with Land and Transaction Costs

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Hellwig,  Martin F.
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hellwig, M. F. (2020). Dynamic Inefficiency and Fiscal Interventions in an Economy with Land and Transaction Costs.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-E12F-9
Abstract
In the discussion whether real interest rates smaller than real growth rates can be taken as evidence of dynamic inefficiency that calls for fiscal interventions, a seemingly killing objection points to land, a non-produced durable asset in positive supply, as a reason why dynamic inefficiency can be ruled out. If real interest rates were expected to be below real growth rates forever, the value of land would be unbounded, which is incompatible with equilibrium. The paper shows that this objection is not robust to the presence of an arbitrarily small per-unit-of-value transaction cost. The paper also specifies fiscal interventions that provide for Pareto improvements even though they involve a resource cost. For the debate about public debt policy, the land argument is a red herring because it is incompatible with the presence of fiat money and debt denominated in units of fiat money.