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Fiscal Policy and the Inflation Target

  • Peter Tulip

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Low interest rates in the United States have recently been accompanied by large fiscal stimulus. However, discussions of monetary policy have neglected this fiscal activism, leading to overestimates of the costs of the zero lower bound and, hence, of the appropriate inflation target. To rectify this, I include countercyclical fiscal policy within a large-scale model of the U.S. economy. I find that fiscal activism can substitute for a high inflation target. If fiscal policy behaves as it has recently, then an increase in the inflation target is not warranted, despite increased volatility of macroeconomic shocks.

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Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 10 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 63-96

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2014:q:2:a:3
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  1. Reifschneider, David & Willams, John C, 2000. "Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 936-66, November.
  2. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
  3. David L. Reifschneider & Peter Tulip, 2007. "Gauging the uncertainty of the economic outlook from historical forecasting errors," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-60, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Coenen, Günter & Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," CEPR Discussion Papers 3892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  8. Laurence M. Ball, 2013. "The Case for Four Percent Inflation," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(2), pages 17-31.
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  10. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1.
  11. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 1999. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low inflation era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Braun, R. Anton & Körber, Lena Mareen & Waki, Yuichiro, 2012. "Some unpleasant properties of loglinearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, revised 01 Nov 2015.
  15. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
  16. anonymous, 2004. "The macroeconomics of fiscal policy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 49(Jun).
  17. Roberto M. Billi & George A. Kahn, 2008. "What is the optimal inflation rate?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-28.
  18. 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.
  19. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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