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Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy with Sticky Wages and Sticky Prices

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve)

We determine the optimal degree of price inflation volatility when nominal wages are sticky and the government uses state-contingent inflation to finance government spending. We address this question in a well-understood Ramsey model of fiscal and monetary policy, in which the benevolent planner has access to labor income taxes, nominally risk-free debt, and money creation. Our main result is that sticky wages alone make price stability optimal in the face of shocks to the government budget, to a degree quantitatively similar as sticky prices alone. Key for our results is an equilibrium restriction between nominal price inflation and nominal wage inflation that holds trivially in a Ramsey model featuring only sticky prices. Our results thus show that when nominal wages are sticky, setting real wages as close as possible to their efficient path is a more important goal of optimal monetary policy than is financing innovations in the government budget via state-contingent inflation. A second important result is that the nominal interest rate can be used to indirectly tax the rents of monopolistic labor suppliers. Taken together, our results uncover features of Ramsey fiscal and monetary policy in the presence of a type of labor market imperfection that is widely-believed to be important. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.07.001
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 683-714

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-136
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  1. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Ramsey Meets Hosios: The Optimal Capital Tax and Labor Market Efficiency," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
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  8. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 10149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
  12. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
  13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Optimal monetary policy: what we know and what we don’t know," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Oct, pages 10-19.
  14. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  15. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
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