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Understanding Policy in the Great Recession: Some Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic

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  • John H. Cochrane

Abstract

I use the valuation equation of government debt to understand fiscal and monetary policy in and following the great recession of 2008-2009, to think about fiscal pressures on US inflation, and what sequence of events might surround such an inflation. I emphasize that a fiscal inflation can come well before large deficits or monetization are realized, and is likely to come with stagnation rather than a boom.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16087.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Publication status: published as Cochrane, John H., 2011. "Understanding policy in the great recession: Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 2-30, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16087

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  1. 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.
  2. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 2006. "Government finance in the wake of currency crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 401-440, April.
  3. Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Securitized Banking and the Run on Repo," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2358, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2009.
  4. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," International Finance 0505004, EconWPA.
  5. Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2010. "Haircuts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 507-520.
  6. Cochrane, John H., 2005. "Money as stock," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 501-528, April.
  7. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2009. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," NBER Working Papers 15343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Şevin Yeltekin, 2012. "How Does the US Government Finance Fiscal Shocks?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 69-104, January.
  9. Adam Ashcraft & Nicolae Gârleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2010. "Two Monetary Tools: Interest Rates and Haircuts," NBER Working Papers 16337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. John H. Cochrane, 1998. "Long-term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," CRSP working papers 478, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  11. Darrell Duffie, 2010. "The failure mechanics of dealer banks," BIS Working Papers 301, Bank for International Settlements.
  12. Piergallini Alessandro & Rodano Giorgio, 2012. "Public Debt, Distortionary Taxation, and Monetary Policy," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 225-248.
  13. Burnside, A Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1998. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 2015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  15. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
  16. John H. Cochrane, 2008. "The Dog That Did Not Bark: A Defense of Return Predictability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1533-1575, July.
  17. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  18. Harald Uhlig, 2010. "Some Fiscal Calculus," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 30-34, May.
  19. Darrell Duffie, 2010. "The Failure Mechanics of Dealer Banks," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
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