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Nominal debt as a burden on monetary policy

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  • Javier Díaz-Giménez
  • Giorgia Giovannetti
  • Ramon Marimon
  • Pedro Teles

Abstract

We study the effects of nominal debt on the optimal sequential choice of monetary policy. When the stock of debt is nominal, the incentive to generate unanticipated inflation increases the cost of the outstanding debt even if no unanticipated inflation episodes occur in equilibrium. Without full commitment, the optimal sequential policy is to deplete the outstanding stock of debt progressively until these extra costs disappear. Nominal debt is therefore a burden on monetary policy, not only because it must be serviced, but also because it creates a time inconsistency problem that distorts interest rates. The introduction of alternative forms of taxation may lessen this burden, if there is enough commtiment to fiscal policy. If there is full commitment to an optimal fiscal policy, then the resulting monetary policy is the Friedman rule of zero nominal interest rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 841.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision: Jan 2006
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:841

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Time-consistency; monetary policy; debt; recursive equilibrium;

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  1. Javier Días-Giménez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2006. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," Working Papers w200606, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Fernando M. Martin, 2004. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Macroeconomics 0408013, EconWPA, revised 12 Oct 2004.
  3. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Juan P. Nicolini, 1993. "More on the time inconsistency of optimal monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 56, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Persson , Mats & Persson , Torsten & Svensson, Lars E.O., 2004. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Seminar Papers 734, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Marimon, Ramon & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2003. "Inside-Outside Money Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 4039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Reis, Catarina, 2006. "Taxation without Commitment," MPRA Paper 2071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  10. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
  11. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 588-614, September.
  13. Martin Ellison & Neil Rankin, 2005. " Optimal Monetary Policy When Lump-Sum Taxes Are Unavailable: A Reconsideration of the Outcomes under Commitment and Discretion," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0501, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  15. 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.
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