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Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices

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  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

  • Martin Uribe

    ()
    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper studies optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky product prices. The theoretical framework is a stochastic production economy without capital. The government finances an exogenous stream of purchases by levying distortionary income taxes, printing money, and issuing one-period nominally risk-free bonds. The main findings of the paper are: First, for a miniscule degree of price stickiness (i.e., many times below available empirical estimates) the optimal volatility of inflation is near zero. This result stands in stark contrast with the high volatility of inflation implied by the Ramsey allocation when prices are flexible. The finding is in line with a recent body of work on optimal monetary policy under nominal rigidities that ignores the role of optimal fiscal policy. Second, even small deviations from full price flexibility induce near random walk behavior in government debt and tax rates, as in economies with real non-state-contingent debt only. Finally, sluggish price adjustment raises the average nominal interest rate above the one called for by the Friedman rule.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200105.

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Date of creation: 24 Jul 2001
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Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200105

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Keywords: Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Optimal Inflation Volatility; Sticky Prices; Tax Smoothing;

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  1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 10149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Isabel Correia & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: equivalence results," Staff Report 403, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
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  6. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 200112, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
  12. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  13. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
  14. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal To Replace The New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328, November.
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  21. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
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  24. Guidotti, Pablo E. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1993. "The optimal inflation tax when money reduces transactions costs : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-205, April.
  25. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 438, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Nov 1999.
  26. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  27. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
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