Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Inflation and the fiscal limit

Contents:

Author Info

  • Davig, Troy
  • Leeper, Eric M.
  • Walker, Todd B.

Abstract

We use a rational expectations framework to assess the implications of rising debt in an environment with a "fiscal limit". The fiscal limit is defined as the point where the government no longer has the ability to finance higher debt levels by increasing taxes, so either an adjustment to fiscal spending or monetary policy must occur to stabilize debt. We give households a joint probability distribution over the various policy adjustments that may occur, as well as over the timing of when the fiscal limit is hit. One policy option that stabilizes debt is a passive monetary policy, which generates a burst of inflation that devalues the existing nominal debt stock. The probability of this outcome places upward pressure on inflation expectations and poses a substantial challenge to a central bank pursuing an inflation target. The distribution of outcomes for the path of future inflation has a fat right tail, revealing that only a small set of outcomes imply dire inflationary scenarios. Avoiding these scenarios, however, requires the fiscal authority to renege on some share of future promised transfers.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V64-51JF87W-2/2/5b571b8ce05ad69e354e25b95117e648
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 31-47

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:1:p:31-47

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Fiscal sustainability Inflation Fiscal limit;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Jondeau, Eric & Ricart, Roland, 1999. "The expectations hypothesis of the term structure: tests on US, German, French, and UK Euro-rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 725-750, October.
  2. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  3. Aymo Brunetti & Beatrice Weder, 1998. "Investment and institutional uncertainty: A comparative study of different uncertainty measures," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 513-533, September.
  4. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis," Reports 21625, Congressional Budget Office.
  5. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  6. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 247-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Wilbur John Coleman II, 1989. "Equilibrium in a production economy with an income tax," International Finance Discussion Papers 366, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "Sticky Price Models of the Business Cycle: Can the Contract Multiplier Solve the Persistence Problem?," NBER Working Papers 5809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Monetary science, fiscal alchemy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 361-434.
  12. Robert J. Barro, 2009. "Rare Disasters, Asset Prices, and Welfare Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 243-64, March.
  13. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-63, June.
  14. Cochrane, John H., 2011. "Understanding policy in the great recession: Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 2-30, January.
  15. Hopenhayn, H. & Maniagurria, M.E., 1996. "Policy Variability and Economic Growth," RCER Working Papers 422, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  16. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  17. Evans, Martin D. D. & Lewis, Karen K., 1994. "Do stationary risk premia explain it all?: Evidence from the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 285-318, April.
  18. Hamilton, James D., 1988. "Rational-expectations econometric analysis of changes in regime : An investigation of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 385-423.
  19. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2010. ""Unfunded Liabilities" and Uncertain Fiscal Financing," NBER Working Papers 15782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "Fiscal Implications of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis," IMF Occasional Papers 269, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Robert S. Pindyck, 1986. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ben S. Bernanke, 1980. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," NBER Working Papers 0502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Drazen, Allan & Helpman, Elhanan, 1990. "Inflationary Consequences of Anticipated Macroeconomic Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 147-64, January.
  24. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  25. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Marshall, David A., 2001. "Peso problem explanations for term structure anomalies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 241-270, October.
  26. Smetters, Kent & Walliser, Jan, 2004. "Opting out of social security," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1295-1306, July.
  27. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  28. International Monetary Fund, 2009. "Fiscal Implications of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis," IMF Staff Position Notes 2009/13, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Congressional Budget Office, 2010. "The Long-Term Budget Outlook," Reports 21546, Congressional Budget Office.
  30. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  31. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Smetters, Kent & Walliser, Jan, 2007. "Mitigating America's demographic dilemma by pre-funding social security," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 247-266, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:1:p:31-47. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.