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Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution

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  • Mats Persson
  • Torsten Persson
  • Lars E. O. Svensson

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how time consistency of the Ramsey policy-the optimal fiscal and monetary policy under commitment-can be achieved. Each government should leave its successor with a unique maturity structure for nominal and indexed debt, such that the marginal benefit of a surprise inflation exactly balances the marginal cost. Unlike in earlier papers on the topic, the result holds for quite general Ramsey policies, including time-varying polices with positive inflation and positive nominal interest rates. We compare our results with those in Persson, Persson, and Svensson (1987), Calvo and Obstfeld (1990), and Alvarez, Kehoe, and Neumeyer (2004). Copyright The Econometric Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:74:y:2006:i:1:p:193-212
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-1431, November.
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-1260, September.
    3. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Neumeyer, 2002. "The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies," Working Papers 616, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. 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.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    7. Mats Persson & Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Debt, Cash Flow and Inflation Incentives: A Swedish Example," NBER Working Papers 5772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pedro Teles, 2003. "The optimal price of money," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-39.
    9. 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.
    10. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 1986. "Inflation and Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 585-605, May.
    11. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1245-1247, September.
    12. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "More on the time consistency of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 333-350, April.
    13. 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 919-944, October.
    14. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1984. "Time-consistent fiscal policy and government cash-flow," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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