IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Fiscal Limits and Monetary Policy


  • Eric M. Leeper


Every economy faces a ``fiscal limit'' that delivers the maximum government debt-GDP ratio that can be sustained without appreciable risk of default or higher inflation. But governments in advanced economies issue substantial nominal debt and nominal debt is a commitment to repay in nominal units. When such economies are approaching their fiscal limits, debt can be devalued through higher current and future inflation rates. The paper develops a simple bond market supply-demand apparatus to explain how fiscal policy can be a source of inflation, while monetary policy merely determines the timing of inflation

Suggested Citation

  • Eric M. Leeper, 2013. "Fiscal Limits and Monetary Policy," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(2), pages 33-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcb:cebare:v:13:y:2013:i:2:p:33-58

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2011. "Learning the fiscal theory of the price level: Some consequences of debt-management policy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 358-379.
    2. Davig, Troy & Leeper, Eric M. & Walker, Todd B., 2010. ""Unfunded liabilities" and uncertain fiscal financing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 600-619, July.
    3. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 809-842, June.
    4. Francesco Bianchi, 2013. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 463-490.
    5. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
    6. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 247-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hu, Ruiyang & Zarazaga, Carlos E., 2016. "Fiscal stabilization and the credibility of the U.S. budget sequestration spending austerity," Working Papers 1616, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Cheng, Jin & Dai, Meixing & Dufourt, Frédéric, 2017. "Banking and sovereign debt crises in a monetary union without central bank intervention," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 142-151.
    3. Claudio Borio & Marco Jacopo Lombardi & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2016. "Fiscal sustainability and the financial cycle," BIS Working Papers 552, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Cimadomo, Jacopo & Claeys, Peter & Poplawski-Ribeiro, Marcos, 2016. "How do experts forecast sovereign spreads?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 216-235.
    5. Aliya Algozhina, 2012. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in an Emerging Open Economy: a Non-Ricardian DSGE Approach," FIW Working Paper series 094, FIW, revised Dec 2012.
    6. Takeo Hoshi & Takatoshi Ito, 2013. "Is the Sky the Limit? Can Japanese Government Bonds Continue to Defy Gravity?," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 8(2), pages 218-247, December.
    7. Alberto Locarno & Alessandro Notarpietro & Massimiliano Pisani, 2013. "Sovereign risk, monetary policy and fiscal multipliers: a structural model-based assessment," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 943, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Carlos Zarazaga & Ruiyang Hu, 2017. "Fiscal Stabilization and the Credibility of the U.S. Budget Sequestration Spending Austerity," 2017 Meeting Papers 250, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Algozhina, Aliya, 2016. "Monetary Policy Rule, Exchange Rate Regime, and Fiscal Policy Cyclicality in a Developing Oil Economy," Dynare Working Papers 49, CEPREMAP.
    10. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Nisticò, Salvatore, 2015. "Non-Neutrality of Open-Market Operations," CEPR Discussion Papers 10594, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Brigitte Granville & Dominik Nagly, 2013. "Determinants of relative bargaining power in monetary unions," Working Papers 47, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    12. Zlatuse Komarkova & Vilma Dingova & Lubos Komarek, 2013. "Fiscal sustainability and financial stability," Occasional Publications - Chapters in Edited Volumes,in: CNB Financial Stability Report 2012/2013, chapter 0, pages 103-112 Czech National Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item


    Monetary-fiscal interactions; Sovereign risk; Fiscal theory;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tcb:cebare:v:13:y:2013:i:2:p:33-58. 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: () or () or (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.