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Fiscal limits and monetary policy: default vs. inflation

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  • Sokolova, Anna

Abstract

This paper studies the monetary policy trade-off between low inflation and low sovereign risk in the environment where fiscal authorities fail to fully ensure the sustainability of government debt. Building on the Fiscal Theory of Price Level (FTPL) and the Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk (FTSR), this paper differs in its baseline assumption about the monetary policy objective, which is neither to rule out defaults regardless of inflation costs (as in FTPL), nor to follow inflation targeting regardless of associated sovereign risk (as in FTSR). Instead, we study the case in which the central bank controls the risky interest rate to minimize the probability of default while ruling out large inflation hikes. We show that this policy regime can mitigate default risks only when the central bank is expected to allow sufficient increases in inflation. When agents believe that the central bank's tolerance toward inflation hikes has increased, equilibrium risk premium goes down, suggesting that information concerning changes in the central bank's preferences over inflation directly impacts default risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Sokolova, Anna, 2015. "Fiscal limits and monetary policy: default vs. inflation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 189-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:48:y:2015:i:c:p:189-198
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2014.10.041
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; Default; Sovereign debt; Monetary policy; FTPL;

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

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