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Do we really need to tame a conservative ECB? When the policy mix matters

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Author Info

  • Marco Lossani

    (Catholic University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Piergiovanna Natale

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Patrizio Tirelli

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

Abstract

This paper contributes to the goal-versus-instrument independence debate for the ECB exploring how these alternative monetary arrangements perform when the fiscal authority pursues a strategy of debt reduction in the long term but retains fiscal flexibility in response to supply shocks. If fiscal policy is sufficiently flexible, appointing a goal independent (i.e. conservative) central banker dominates inflation targeting. In fact, as the fiscal authority and the central bank act independently in setting their countercyclical policies, an activist central banker causes excess volatility of inflation. This result provides theoretical content to the claim that a strong and goal-independent ECB needs a political match able to engineer countercyclical fiscal policies.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper18.pdf
File Function: First version, 1997
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 18.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1997
Date of revision: Nov 1998
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:18

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
  2. Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 1998. "International risk sharing and European monetary unification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 211-238, August.
  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Beetsma, R.M.W.J., 1997. "Central Bank independence and public debt policy," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74443, Tilburg University.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1995. "Monetary Union without Fiscal Coordination May Discipline Policymakers," DELTA Working Papers 95-22, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Daveri, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. De Grauwe, Paul, 1996. "Inflation Targeting to Achieve Inflation Convergence in the Transition Towards EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 1457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. J. De Haan & F. Amtenbrink & S.C.W. Eijffinger, 1999. "Accountability of central banks: aspects and quantification," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 52(209), pages 169-193.
  9. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1989. "A Political Theory of Government Debt and Deficits in a Neo-Ricardian Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 713-32, September.
  10. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 2012. "Inflation and Economic Growth," CEMA Working Papers 568, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  12. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Monetary Cohabitation in Europe," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 111-16, May.
  13. Patrizio Tirelli, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Models Revisited. Should Fiscal Flexibility and Conservative Central Bankers Go Together?," Working Papers 19, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 1999.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Rules and Discretion with Noncoordinated Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(4), pages 619-30, October.
  15. Jensen, Henrik, 1994. "Loss of monetary discretion in a simple dynamic policy game," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 763-779.
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Cited by:
  1. Lossani, Marco & Natale, Piergiovanna & Tirelli, Patrizio, 2000. "Fiscal Policy and Inflation Targets: Does Credibility Matters?," MPRA Paper 18693, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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