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Understanding policy in the great recession: Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic

  • Cochrane, John H.

I use the valuation equation of government debt to understand fiscal and monetary policy in and following the great recession of 2008-2009. I also examine policy alternatives to avoid deflation, and how fiscal pressures might lead to inflation. I conclude that the central bank may be almost powerless to avoid deflation or inflation; that an eventual fiscal inflation can come well before large deficits or monetization are realized, and that it is likely to come with stagnation rather than a boom.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 55 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 2-30

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:1:p:2-30
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2009:x:6 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2006. "How Far Are We From the Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 5657, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. John H. Cochrane, 2008. "The Dog That Did Not Bark: A Defense of Return Predictability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1533-1575, July.
  4. Cochrane, John H., 2005. "Money as stock," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 501-528, April.
  5. Antje Berndt & Hanno Lustig & Sevin Yeltekin, . "How does the U.S. government finance fiscal shocks?," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E70, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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  8. John H. Cochrane, 1998. "Long-term Debt and Optimal Policy in the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," CRSP working papers 478, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2005. "International Financial Adjustment," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt124628cx, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  13. Andrew Metrick & Gary Gorton, 2009. "Haircuts," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2395, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Sep 2009.
    • Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2010. "Haircuts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 507-520.
  14. Piergallini Alessandro & Rodano Giorgio, 2012. "Public Debt, Distortionary Taxation, and Monetary Policy," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 225-248.
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