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Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20

Listed author(s):
  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

In this paper, we study Ramsey-optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a mediumscale model of the U.S. business cycle. The model features a rich array of real and nominal rigidities that have been identified in the recent empirical literature as salient in explaining observed aggregate fluctuations. The main result of the paper is that price stability appears to be a central goal of optimal monetary policy. The optimal rate of inflation under an income tax regime is half a percent per year with a volatility of 1.1 percent. This result is surprising given that the model features a number of frictions that in isolation would call for a volatile rate of inflation—particularly nonstate-contingent nominal public debt, no lump-sum taxes, and sticky wages. Under an income-tax regime, the optimal income tax rate is quite stable, with a mean of 30 percent and a standard deviation of 1.1 percent. JEL Classification: E52, E61, E63

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This chapter was published in:
  • Mark Gertler & Kenneth Rogoff, 2006. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gert06-1.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0074.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0074
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    2. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    4. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Kimball, Miles S, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1241-1277, November.
    9. Altig, David E & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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    13. 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.
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    20. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "A small, structural, quarterly model for monetary policy evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 83-108, December.
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    24. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Brock, William A., 1980. "Time consistency and optimal government policies in perfect foresight equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 183-212, April.
    25. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A search for a structural Phillips curve," Staff Reports 203, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    26. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy: a linear-quadratic approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 806, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    27. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    28. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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    31. 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.
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    33. 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.
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    35. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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    37. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2005. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model: Expanded Version," NBER Working Papers 11417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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