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Welfare Improving Coordination of Fiscal and Monetary Policy

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Abstract

Should independent monetary and fiscal policies coordinate their actions and/or targets? To examine this question the paper considers a simple reduced-form model in which monetary and fiscal policies are formally independent, but still interdependent—through their mutual spillovers. The analysis shows that the medium-run equilibrium levels of inflation, deficit, and output depend on the two policies’ (i) potency (elasticity of output with respect to the policy instruments), (ii) ambition (the level of their output target), and (iii) conservatism (inflation vs. output volatility aversion). What matters is however the relative degrees of these characteristics across the two policies rather than the absolute degrees for each policy. This implies that coordination of monetary and fiscal policy is superior to non-cooperative Nash behaviour. In particular, we find that ambition-coordination is more important than conservatism-coordination in terms of avoiding medium-run imbalances due to a tug-of-war betw een the policies. For this reason, and perhaps surprisingly, ambition-coordination can be welfare improving even if the policymakers’ objectives are idiosyncratic, and their coordinated output targets differ from the socially optimal value.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its journal AUCO Czech Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 5 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 007-026

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Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2011_007

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Keywords: Coordination; interaction; monetary policy; fiscal policy; central bank; government; inflation; deficit;

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  1. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction with Various Degrees and Types of Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bas van Aarle & Jacob Engwerda & Joseph Plasmans, 2001. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction in the EMU: A Dynamic Game Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 437, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich, 2007. "Fiscal-monetary Interactions: The Effect of Fiscal Restraint and Public Monitoring on Central Bank Credibility," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 559-576, November.
  4. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  5. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2007. "Rogoff Revisited: The Conservative Central Banker Proposition Under Active Fiscal Policies," CAMA Working Papers 2007-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. Demertzis, Maria & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 1999. "An Independent Central Bank Faced With Elected Governments," CEPR Discussion Papers 2219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  8. Stefano Eusepi & Jess Benhabib, 2005. "The Design of Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Global Perspective," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 388, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  10. Andrew Hallett & Jan Libich, 2012. "Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 271-297, November.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  12. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  13. Hughes Hallett, A J, 1986. "Autonomy and the Choice of Policy in Asymmetrically Dependent Economies: An Investigation of the Gains from International Policy Co-ordination," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 516-44, November.
  14. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2011. "Macroprudential Policies and Financial Stability," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(277), pages 318-334, 06.
  2. Muhammad Ali Nasir & Alaa M. Soliman, 2014. "Aspects of Macroeconomic Policy Combinations and Their Effects on Financial Markets," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 19(1), pages 95-118, March.
  3. Daly, Hounaida & Smida, Mounir, 2013. "Interaction entre politique monétaire et politique budgétaire:Cas de la Grèce
    [Fiscal and Monetary Policy Interactions : The Greece Case]
    ," MPRA Paper 45931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2009. "Rogoff revisited: The conservative central banker proposition under active fiscal policies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 140-143, September.
  5. Daly, Hounaida & Smida, Mounir, 2013. "La coordination des politiques monétaire et budgétaire: Aperçu théorique
    [Coordination of monetary and fiscal policies: Theoretical Overview]
    ," MPRA Paper 48020, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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