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Lack of confidence, the zero lower bound, and the virtue of fiscal rules

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  • Schmidt, Sebastian

Abstract

In the presence of the zero lower bound, standard business cycle models with a Taylor-type monetary policy rule are prone to equilibrium multiplicity. A drop in private sector confidence can drive the economy into a liquidity trap without any change in fundamentals. I show, in the context of a standard New Keynesian model, that it is possible to design Ricardian fiscal spending rules that insulate the economy from such expectations-driven liquidity traps. In the case of price adjustment costs, desirable fiscal rules ensure that a drop in confidence does not lead to a decline in real marginal costs. In the case of nominal wage adjustment costs, desirable fiscal spending rules ensure that a drop in confidence does not lead to a decline in the ratio of the marginal rate of substitution between private consumption and hours worked relative to the real wage rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmidt, Sebastian, 2016. "Lack of confidence, the zero lower bound, and the virtue of fiscal rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 36-53.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:70:y:2016:i:c:p:36-53
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2016.06.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Jarociński, Marek & Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2016. "Macroeconomic stabilization, monetary-fiscal interactions, and Europe’s monetary union," Working Paper Series 1988, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multiple equilibria; Liquidity trap; Sunspots; Government spending; Ricardian fiscal policy;

    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
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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