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Indeterminacy, Bubbles, and the Fiscal Theory of Price Level Determination

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

The recently-developed fiscal theory of price level determination contends that there is an important class of policy rules in which there exists a unique rational expectations solution that shows the price level to be dependent upon fiscal policy and independent of monetary variables. The present paper argues, however, that there is an alternative solution to these models that has entirely traditional (or monetarist') properties. This latter solution is perhaps the more plausible since it is the solution that is typically regarded as the bubble-free fundamentals' solution. The argument involves a respecification of feasible instrument variables.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 1998-19.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:186

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Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

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  1. Willem H. Buiter, 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs, and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 6396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. W.H. Buiter, 2000. "The Fallacy of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," CEP Discussion Papers dp0447, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Canzoneri, Matthew B & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad, 1998. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1772, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Michael Woodford, 1995. "Price Level Determinacy Without Control of a Monetary Aggregate," NBER Working Papers 5204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bennett McCallum, 1999. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion in Rational Expectations Models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 621-639, November.
  6. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1973. "The Stability of Models of Money and Growth with Perfect Foresight," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1043-48, November.
  8. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Dale W. Henderson & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1981. "The information content of the interest rate and optimal monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 192, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1986. "Some Issues Concerning Interest Rate Pegging, Price Level Determinacy, and the Real Bills Doctrine," NBER Working Papers 1294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Michael Woodford, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money revisited," Working Papers 404, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Taylor, John B, 1977. "Conditions for Unique Solutions in Stochastic Macroeconomic Models with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(6), pages 1377-85, September.
  15. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1067-1152 Elsevier.
  16. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1981. "Speculative hyperinflations in a maximizing models: can we rule them out?," International Finance Discussion Papers 195, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  18. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims, 1994. "Toward a Modern Macroeconomic Model Usable for Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. McCallum, Bennett T., 1981. "Price level determinacy with an interest rate policy rule and rational expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 319-329.
  20. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  21. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-70, August.
  22. Black, Fischer, 1974. "Uniqueness of the price level in monetary growth models with rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-65, January.
  23. Sims, Christopher A., 1998. "Econometric implications of the government budget constraint," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 9-19.
  24. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
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