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Compatibility Between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Under EMU

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  • Campbell leith
  • Simon Wren-Lewis

Abstract

The potential importance of fiscal policy in influencing inflation has recently been highlighted, following Woodford (1998), under the heading of the ‘Fiscal Theory of the Price Level’ (FTPL). Some authors have suggested that this theory provides a rationale for the Pact for Stability and Growth as a necessary condition for the ECB pursuing a policy of price stability. In this paper, we relax the assumptions underpinning the FTPL by developing a two country open economy model, where each country has overlapping generations of non-Ricardian consumers who supply labour to imperfectly competitive firms which can only change their prices infrequently. We examine the case where the two countries have formed a monetary union, but where the fiscal authorities remain independent. We show that the fiscal response required to ensure solvency is greater when consumers are not infinitely lived, and that although this allows for some compensating behaviour between governments, in general, both fiscal policies must remain solvent if the ECB is to aggressively target inflation. We also show that the monetary authority can abandon its active targeting of inflation to ensure the solvency of at most one fiscal authority. Any other combination of policies will either result in price level indeterminacy and/or indefinite transfers of wealth between the two economies. Finally, in a series of simulations we show that fiscal shocks have limited impact on output and inflation provided the fiscal authorities meet the (weak) requirements of fiscal solvency. However, when monetary policy is forced to abandon its active targeting of inflation, then fiscal shocks have a much greater impact on both output and inflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2001_15.

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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2001_15

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Keywords: EMU; Stability and Growth Pact; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy; Fiscal Theory of the Price Level;

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References

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  1. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
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  17. Campbell Leith & Jim Malley, 2002. "Estimated General Equilibrium Models for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy in the US and Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 699, CESifo Group Munich.
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  23. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Active and Passive at the ECB
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2012-09-30 14:31:00
  2. The ECB as a Lender of Last Resort to Governments
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2013-04-12 15:46:00
  3. How a Greek drama became a global tragedy
    by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2013-06-13 12:55:00
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