The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper explores the hypothesis that the propensity to consume out of income is not constant but varies, perhaps in a nonlinear fashion, with fiscal variables. It examines whether there is any empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that households move from non-Ricardian to Ricardian behavior as government debt reaches high levels and as uncertainty about future taxes increases. The paper also examines the possibility of a relationship (along the lines of the Bertola-Drazen model) between the propensity to consume out of income and the government consumption-to-GDP ratio.