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Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge

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  • Stefano Eusepi
  • Bruce Preston

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the fiscal foundations of inflation based on imperfect knowledge and learning. The theory is similar in spirit to, but distinct from, unpleasant monetarist arithmetic and the fiscal theory of the price level. Because the assumption of imperfect knowledge breaks Ricardian equivalence, details of fiscal policy, such as the average scale and composition of the public debt, matter for inflation. As a result, fiscal policy constrains the efficacy of monetary policy. Heavily indebted economies with debt maturity structures observed in many countries require aggressive monetary policy to anchor inflation expectations. The model predicts that the Great Moderation period would not have been so moderate had fiscal policy been characterized by a scale and composition of public debt now witnessed in some advanced economies in the aftermath of the 2007-09 global recession.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 649.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:649

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Fiscal policy ; Monetary policy ; Debts; Public;

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  1. Stefano Eusepi & Marc Giannoni & Bruce Preston, 2012. "Long-term debt pricing and monetary policy transmission under imperfect knowledge," Staff Reports 547, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Evans , George W & Honkapohja , Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2010. "Does Ricardian Equivalence hold when expectations are not rational?," Research Discussion Papers 13/2010, Bank of Finland.
  3. Slobodyan, Sergey & Wouters, Raf, 2012. "Learning in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-46.
  4. Bianchi, Francesco, 2008. "Regime switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," MPRA Paper 24251, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2010.
  5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  8. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Nora Traum, 2010. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in the Post-War U.S," IMF Working Papers 10/243, International Monetary Fund.
  13. 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.
  14. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  15. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
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