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Policy rules, information and fiscal effects in a "Ricardian" model

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  • Eric M. Leeper

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, if deficits are inflationary then current deficits should predict subsequent movements in money growth. This paper USES a general equilibrium model fit to data to: (1) explore the policy behavior underlying this accepted viewpoint; (2) examine alternative equi­librium deficit policies ranging from an exclusive reliance on direct lump-sum taxes to a mix of direct and inflation taxes; and (3) evaluate the empirical trade-offs implied by the various financing schemes. The results suggest that reduced-form analyses of whether "deficits matter" can lead to seriously misleading conclusions by mistakenly attributing fiscal effects to monetary policy. ; I demonstrate that simple monetary and tax policy rules and plausible assumptions about when private agents learn of fiscal actions can produce a classical economy whose nominal equilibrium depends on the process for lump­sum taxes and whose time series contradict the view that monetized deficits predict inflation. I assess the fit of versions of the model to U.S. data and reinterpret existing reduced-form studies in light of the results.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 360.

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Date of creation: 1989
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:360

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Related research

Keywords: Monetary policy ; Fiscal policy ; Deficit financing;

References

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  1. Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr, 1982. "Inflation and Government Deficits," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 315-29, July.
  2. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 1985. "Money, deficits, and inflation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 147-195, January.
  3. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
  4. Evans, Paul, 1987. "Interest Rates and Expected Future Budget Deficits in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 34-58, February.
  5. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Srobona Mitra, 2007. "Is the Quantity of Government Debt a Constraint for Monetary Policy?," IMF Working Papers 07/62, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Eric M. Leeper, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Inflation: Pondering the Imponderables," NBER Working Papers 9506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hess Chung & Eric Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," Caepr Working Papers 2007-015, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. Eric Leeper & Todd Walker, 2011. "Information Flows and News Driven Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 55-71, January.
  6. Eric M. Leeper, 1990. "The dynamics of interest rate and tax rules in a stochastic model," International Finance Discussion Papers 375, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang & Eric M. Leeper, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytical Issues," 2008 Meeting Papers 786, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Cassou, Steven P., 1995. "Optimal tax rules in a dynamic stochastic economy with capital," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1165-1197.
  9. Luca Sala, 2004. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: Identifying Restrictions and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 257, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.

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