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Distortionary Taxation, Debt, and the Price Level

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  • A. Schabert

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • L. v. Thadden

    (European Central Bank)

Abstract

This paper considers the nominal and real determinacy of equilibria under an exogenously specified path of interest rates in an economy in which taxation is either lump-sum or distortionary. Under lump-sum taxation, we confirm the well-known finding that equilibria display nominal (in)determinacy if the primary surplus is exogenous (endogenous). Under distortionary taxation, this classification is no longer relevant. Nominal determinacy is always ensured since distortionary taxes establish a link between the allocation and the sequences of taxes and debt and, hence, the price level, regardless of whether the primary surplus is exogenous or endogenous. Distortionary taxation, however, increases the scope for real indeterminacy. As a general feature, the real (in)determinacy of equilibria depends on the interaction of fiscal and monetary policies, i.e. on the sequences of taxes, debt, and interest rates. If, for example, fiscal policy runs a balanced budget the central bank should set the nominal interest rate in a way consistent with long-run deflation in order to ensure real determinacy. This finding is different from a balanced-budget policy under lump-sum taxes where no such qualification with respect to the interest rate needs to be made

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 with number 75.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:75

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Keywords: Monetary and fiscal policy; Distortionary taxes; Price level determination; Balanced budget policy;

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  1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear Quadratic Approach," NBER Working Papers 9905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "The Fiscal Myth of the Price Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 276-299, February.
  3. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "Interest rate rules and price determinacy: The role of transactions services of bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 329-343, March.
  4. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
  5. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  8. 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.
  9. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2001. "Timing and real indeterminacy in monetary models," Working Paper 9910R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  10. Marco Bassetto & Narayana Kocherlakota, 2010. "On the Irrelevance of Government Debt When Taxes are Distortionary," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000295, David K. Levine.
  11. Jean-Pascal Benassy, 2005. "Interest Rate Rules, Price Determinacy and the Value of Money in a non Ricardian World," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 651-667, July.
  12. Willem H. Buiter, 2002. "The Fiscal Theory Of The Price Level: A Critique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 459-480, July.
  13. Narayana Kocherlakota & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "Explaining the fiscal theory of the price level," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 14-23.
  14. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
  15. Eric M. Leeper & Tack Yun, 2005. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and the Price Level: Background and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 11646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Schabert, 2009. "Monetary Policy under a Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Default," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-093/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Andreas Schabert, 2009. "Monetary Policy under a Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Default," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-093/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Yuting Bai & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2013. "Infrequent Fiscal Stabilization," Working Papers 2013_01, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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