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Optimal monetary policy when lump-sum taxes are unavailable: A reconsideration of the outcomes under commitment and discretion

  • Ellison, Martin
  • Rankin, Neil

We re-examine optimal monetary policy when lump-sum taxes are unavailable. Under commitment, we show that, with alternative utility functions to that considered in Nicolini’s related analysis, the direction of the incentive to cheat may depend on the initial level of government debt, with low debt creating an incentive towards surprise deflation, but high debt the reverse. Under discretion, we show that the economy will not necessarily tend to the Friedman Rule, as Obstfeld found. Instead it may tend to the critical debt level at which there is no cheating incentive under commitment, and inflation and could well be positive here.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 31 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 219-243

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:219-243
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  1. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Nominal debt as a burden on monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-04-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld and ., 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C97-085, University of California at Berkeley.
  3. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "A Monetary Equilibrium Model with Transactions Costs," NBER Working Papers 0978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "More on the time consistency of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 333-350, April.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
  6. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "A model of currency depreciation and the debt-inflation spiral," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 151-177.
  7. 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.
  8. Neiss, Katharine S, 1999. "Discretionary Inflation in a General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 357-74, August.
  9. Grossman, Sanford & Weiss, Laurence, 1983. "A Transactions-Based Model of the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 871-80, December.
  10. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1997. " Time Consistent Collection of Optimal Seigniorage: A Unifying Framework," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(1), pages 1-46, March.
  11. 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.
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