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Learning the fiscal theory of the price level: Some consequences of debt-management policy

  • Eusepi, Stefano
  • Preston, Bruce

This paper examines the consequences of the scale and composition of the public debt in policy regimes in which monetary policy is ‘passive’ and fiscal policy ‘active’. This configuration of policy is argued to be of both historical and contemporary interest, in economies such as the US and Japan. It is shown that higher average levels and moderate average maturities of debt can induce macroeconomic instability for a range of policies specified as simple rules. However, interest-rate pegs combined with active fiscal policies almost always ensure macroeconomic stability. This suggests that in periods where the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is a relevant constraint on policy design, a switch in fiscal regime is desirable.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 358-379

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:25:y:2011:i:4:p:358-379
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. Francesco Bianchi, 2009. "Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," 2009 Meeting Papers 198, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  3. Honkapohja, S. & Evans, G.W., 2000. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 481, Department of Economics.
  4. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Branch, William A. & Davig, Troy & McGough, Bruce, 2013. "Adaptive Learning In Regime-Switching Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(05), pages 998-1022, July.
  6. Evans , George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Policy interaction, learning and the fiscal theory of prices," Research Discussion Papers 18/2002, Bank of Finland.
  7. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  9. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. Woodford, Michael, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 669-728, August.
  11. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  12. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  13. Bruce Preston & Stefano Eusepi, 2011. "The maturity structure of debt, monetary policy and expectations stabilization," 2011 Meeting Papers 1287, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-22, December.
  15. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, 04.
  16. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  17. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2010. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 235-71, July.
  18. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
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