IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model

Listed author(s):
  • CAMPBELL LEITH
  • SIMON WREN‐LEWIS

Recent work on optimal monetary and fiscal policy in New Keynesian models suggests that it is optimal to allow steady-state debt to follow a random walk. Leith and Wren-Lewis (2012) consider the nature of the timeinconsistency involved in such a policy and its implication for discretionary policy-making. We show that governments are tempted, given inflationary expectations, to utilize their monetary and fiscal instruments in the initial period to change the ultimate debt burden they need to service. We demonstrate that this temptation is only eliminated if following shocks, the new steady-state debt is equal to the original (efficient) debt level even though there is no explicit debt target in the government’s objective function. Analytically and in a series of numerical simulations we show which instrument is used to stabilize the debt depends crucially on the degree of nominal inertia and the size of the debt-stock. We also show that the welfare consequences of introducing debt are negligible for precommitment policies, but can be significant for discretionary policy. Finally, we assess the credibility of commitment policy by considering a quasi-commitment policy which allows for different probabilities of reneging on past promises. This on-line Appendix extends the results of this paper.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 8 (December)
Pages: 1477-1516

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i:8:p:1477-1516
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Raf Wouters & Frank Smets, 2005. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 161-183.
  2. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
  3. Levine, Paul & McAdam, Peter & Pearlman, Joseph, 2008. "Quantifying and sustaining welfare gains from monetary commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1253-1276, October.
  4. Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 493-514, July.
  5. Christoph Himmels & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2011. "Expectations Traps and Monetary Policy with Limited Commitment," Discussion Papers 1102, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  6. Leith, Campbell & von Thadden, Leopold, 2008. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a New Keynesian model with capital accumulation and non-Ricardian consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 279-313, May.
  7. Fernando Martin, 2009. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 608-631, October.
  8. Lombardo, Giovanni & Sutherland, Alan, 2004. "Monetary and fiscal interactions in open economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 319-347, June.
  9. Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Jensen, Henrik, 2004. "Mark-up fluctuations and fiscal policy stabilization in a monetary union," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 357-376, June.
  10. Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction: The Current Consensus Assignment in the Light of Recent Developments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(541), pages 482-496, November.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," NBER Working Papers 2869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2008. "Monopoly Power and Endogenous Product Variety: Distortions and Remedies," NBER Working Papers 14383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ellison, Martin & Rankin, Neil, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy when lump-sum taxes are unavailable: A reconsideration of the outcomes under commitment and discretion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-243, January.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  15. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 588-614, September.
  16. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
  17. Leith, Campbell & Malley, Jim, 2005. "Estimated general equilibrium models for the evaluation of monetary policy in the US and Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2137-2159, November.
  18. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 923-936, November.
  19. repec:ags:aaea07:419 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
  21. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:edn:sirdps:398 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2012. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model - Additional Appendix," Working Papers 2012_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  24. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "A model of currency depreciation and the debt-inflation spiral," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 151-177.
  25. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 540-542, August.
  26. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2006. "Compatibility between monetary and fiscal policy under EMU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1529-1556, August.
  27. Levine, Paul & Pearlman, Joseph, 2011. "Computation of LQ Approximations to Optimal Policy Problems in Different Information Settings under Zero Lower Bound Constraints," Dynare Working Papers 10, CEPREMAP.
  28. Niemann, Stefan & Pichler, Paul & Sorger, Gerhard, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Without Commitment," Economics Discussion Papers 2897, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  29. Leith, Campbell & von Thadden, Leopold, 2008. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a New Keynesian model with capital accumulation and non-Ricardian consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 279-313, May.
  30. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "More on the time consistency of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 333-350, April.
  31. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
  32. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-lewis, 2006. "The Costs of Fiscal Inflexibility," WEF Working Papers 0005, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  33. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 519-539, August.
  34. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2000. "Interactions between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 93-108, March.
  35. Debortoli, Davide & Nunes, Ricardo, 2010. "Fiscal policy under loose commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1005-1032, May.
  36. repec:esx:essedp:654 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Government size and macroeconomic stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 117-132, January.
  38. repec:ags:aaea07:398 is not listed on IDEAS
  39. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2008. "Time-Consistent Public Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 789-808.
  40. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  41. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i:8:p:1477-1516. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.