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Is The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level Learnable?

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  • Bennett T. Mccallum

Abstract

This paper presents a prototype model for development of the “fiscal theory of the price level.” In this simple setting, the fiscal theory’s distinctiveness relies upon adoption of a bubble solution, rather than the rational-expectations fundamentals solution. The paper then shows that the fiscal solution is not adaptively learnable, by agents who estimate coefficients relevant for forecasting on the basis of available data, whereas the orthodox “monetarist” solution exists and is learnable. Finally, it is argued that similar results should be expected to apply in more complex models. JEL Nos. E5, E6, D8. Keywords: Monetary theory, fiscal theory, price level determination, learning, rational expectations.
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  • Bennett T. Mccallum, 2003. "Is The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level Learnable?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 634-649, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:50:y:2003:i:5:p:634-649
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    Cited by:

    1. Fan, Jingwen & Minford, Patrick, 2009. "Can the Fiscal Theory of the price level explain UK inflation in the 1970s?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/26, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section, revised Mar 2011.
    2. Canzoneri, Matthew & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad, 2010. "The Interaction Between Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 935-999 Elsevier.
    3. Harashima, Taiji, 2007. "Hyperinflation, disinflation, deflation, etc.: A unified and micro-founded explanation for inflation," MPRA Paper 3836, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fan, Jingwen & Minford, Patrick & Ou, Zhirong, 2016. "The role of fiscal policy in Britain's Great Inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 203-218.
    5. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields And Methods From Past To Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 769-800, September.
    6. Bajo-Rubio, Oscar & Díaz-Roldán, Carmen & Esteve, Vicente, 2009. "Deficit sustainability and inflation in EMU: An analysis from the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 525-539, December.
    7. Fan, Jingwen & Minford, Patrick & Ou, Zhirong, 2013. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level - identification and testing for the UK in the 1970s," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2013/12, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    8. Petia Ivanova, 2007. "The Fiscal Theory for the Cost Level and Monetarism," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 60-79.
    9. Taiji Harashima, 2004. "The Ultimate Source of Inflation: A Microfoundation of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Macroeconomics 0409018, EconWPA, revised 30 Mar 2005.
    10. Harashima, Taiji, 2008. "A Microfounded Mechanism of Observed Substantial Inflation Persistence," MPRA Paper 10668, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    12. Jalil, Abdul & Tariq, Rabbia & Bibi, Nazia, 2014. "Fiscal deficit and inflation: New evidences from Pakistan using a bounds testing approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 120-126.
    13. Hemantha K.J. Ekanayake, 2012. "The Link Between Fiscal Deficit and Inflation: Do public sector wages matter?," ASARC Working Papers 2012-14, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    14. Willem Buiter, 2004. "A Small Corner of Intertemporal Public Finance - New Developments in Monetary Economics: 2 Ghosts, 2 Eccentricities, A Fallacy, A Mirage and A Mythos," NBER Working Papers 10524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 565-583, Winter.
    16. Avgeris Nikolaos & Katrakilidis Constantinos, 2013. "A Dynamic Panel, Empirical Investigation on the Link between Inflation and Fiscal Imbalances. Does Heterogeneity Matter?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(2), pages 147-162.
    17. Óscar J. Arce, 2005. "Reflections on fiscalist divergent price-paths," Working Papers 0533, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    18. Harashima, Taiji, 2007. "The Optimal Quantity of Money Consistent with Positive Nominal Interest Rates," MPRA Paper 1839, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Feb 2007.

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    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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