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Central bank independence and the monetary instrument problem

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  • Stefan Niemann

    ()

  • Paul Pichler

    ()

  • Gerhard Sorger

    ()

Abstract

We study the monetary instrument problem in a model of optimal discretionary fiscal and monetary policy. The policy problem is cast as a dynamic game between the central bank, the fiscal authority, and the private sector. We show that, as long as there is a conflict of interest between the two policy-makers, the central bank's monetary instrument choice critically affects the Markov-perfect Nash equilibrium of this game. Focussing on a scenario where the fiscal authority is impatient relative to the monetary authority, we show that the equilibrium allocation is typically characterized by a public spending bias if the central bank uses the nominal money supply as its instrument. If it uses instead the nominal interest rate, the central bank can prevent distortions due to fiscal impatience and implement the same equilibrium allocation that would obtain under cooperation of two benevolent policy authorities. Despite this property, the welfare-maximizing choice of instrument depends on the economic environment under consideration. In particular, the money growth instrument is to be preferred whenever fiscal impatience has positive welfare effects, which is easily possible under lack of commitment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 687.

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Date of creation: 12 Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:687

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  1. Michael Dotsey & Andreas Hornstein, 2011. "On the implementation of Markov-Perfect interest rate and money supply rules : global and local uniqueness," Working Paper 09-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  2. Andreas Schabert, . "Central bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Working Papers 2003_5, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jan 2003.
  3. Fernando M. Martin, 2004. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Macroeconomics 0408013, EconWPA, revised 12 Oct 2004.
  4. R. King & A. Wolman, 2003. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Malley, Jim & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Woitek, Ulrich, 2007. "Electoral uncertainty, fiscal policy and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 1051-1080, March.
  6. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Díaz-Giménez, Javier & Giovannetti, Giorgia & Marimon, Ramon & Teles, Pedro, 2007. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Stefan Niemann & Paul Pichler & Gerhard Sorger, 2009. "Inflation dynamics under optimal discretionary fiscal and monetary policies," Economics Discussion Papers 681, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Ellison, Martin & Rankin, Neil, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy when lump-sum taxes are unavailable: A reconsideration of the outcomes under commitment and discretion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-243, January.
  10. Stefan Niemann, 2009. "Dynamic Monetary-Fiscal Interactions and the Role of Monetary Conservatism," Economics Discussion Papers 667, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Fernando Martin, 2012. "Debt, Inflation and Central Bank Independence," 2012 Meeting Papers 1019, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Pichler, Paul, 2011. "Solving the multi-country Real Business Cycle model using a monomial rule Galerkin method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 240-251, February.
  3. Niemann, Stefan & Pichler, Paul, 2011. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policies in the face of rare disasters," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 75-92, January.

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