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The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies


  • Fernando Alvarez
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Pablo Andrés Neumeyer


We show that optimal monetary and fiscal policies are time consistent for a class of economies often used in applied work, economies appealing because they are consistent with the growth facts. We establish our results in two steps. We first show that for this class of economies, the Friedman rule of setting nominal interest rates to zero is optimal under commitment. We then show that optimal policies are time consistent if the Friedman rule is optimal. For our benchmark economy in which the time consistency problem is most severe, the converse also holds: if optimal policies are time consistent, then the Friedman rule is optimal. Copyright The Econometric Society 2004.

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  • Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2004. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 541-567, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:72:y:2004:i:2:p:541-567

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Cellini & Luca Lambertini, 2010. "The Issue Of Time Inconsistency Revisited As An Extended Game," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(02), pages 161-174.
    2. Martin, Fernando M., 2011. "On the joint determination of fiscal and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 132-145, March.
    3. Beetsma, Roel & Westerhout, Ed, 2016. "A comparison of nominal and indexed debt under fiscal constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 11141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Molnár, Krisztina & Santoro, Sergio, 2014. "Optimal monetary policy when agents are learning," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 39-62.
    5. Cellini, Roberto & Lambertini, Luca, 2007. "Time consistent fiscal policies in a Ramsey economy," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 296-313, May.
    6. Alex Clymo & Andrea Lanteri, 2016. "Fiscal Policy with Limited-Time Commitment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-056/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes & Pierre Yared, 2017. "Optimal Time-Consistent Government Debt Maturity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(1), pages 55-102.
    8. Alexandre Cunha, 2008. "The optimality of the Friedman rule when some distorting taxes are exogenous," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(2), pages 267-291, May.
    9. Cunha, Alexandre B., 2005. "Managing Public Debt, Money Supply and Foreign Assets: Some Indeterminacy Results," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 59(3), July.
    10. Mats Persson & Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 193-212, January.
    11. Aruoba, S. Boragan & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2010. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy when money is essential," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1618-1647, September.
    12. Wang, Gaowang & Zou, Heng-fu, 2011. "Inflation aversion and macroeconomic policy in a perfect foresight monetary model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1802-1807, July.
    13. Alejandro Neut & Andres Velasco, 2004. "Tough Policies, Incredible Policies," CID Working Papers 105, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    14. Begona Dominguez Manzano, 2005. "Reputation in a Model with a Limited Debt Structure," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 600-622, July.
    15. Begoña Dominguez & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras, 2012. "On the Time Inconsistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies With Many Consumer Goods," Monash Economics Working Papers 31-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    16. Schabert, Andreas, 2005. "Discretionary Policy, Multiple Equilibria, and Monetary Instruments," CEPR Discussion Papers 5400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Gaowang Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2010. "A New Approach to Inflation Aversion," CEMA Working Papers 471, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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    19. Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 493-514, July.
    20. 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.
    21. Michael T. Gapen & Thomas F. Cosimano & Ralph Chami, 2006. "Beware of Emigrants Bearing Gifts; Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the Presence of Remittances," IMF Working Papers 06/61, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Alexandre Cunha, 2013. "On the relevance of floating exchange rate policies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 53(2), pages 357-382, June.
    23. Cunha, Alexandre B., 2005. "A Direct Proof of the First Welfare Theorem," Insper Working Papers wpe_30, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    24. Takamatsu, Satoko, 2010. "Openness and interest rates: An analysis using the MIUF model and transaction cost model of money," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 295-303, April.
    25. Alexandre B. Cunha, 2006. "Implications of the Modigliani-Miller Theorem for the Study of Exchange Rate Regimes," IBMEC RJ Economics Discussion Papers 2006-03, Economics Research Group, IBMEC Business School - Rio de Janeiro.

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