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Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28

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  • Francesco Bianchi
  • Leonardo Melosi

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework to account for the observed instability of the link between inflation and fiscal imbalances across time and countries. Current policy makers behavior influences agents' beliefs about the way debt will be stabilized. The standard policy mix consists of a virtuous fiscal authority that moves taxes in response to debt and a central bank that has full control over inflation. When policy makers deviate from this Virtuous regime, agents conduct Bayesian learning to infer the likely duration of the deviation. As agents observe more and more deviations, they become increasingly pessimistic about a prompt return to the Virtuous regime and inflation starts drifting in response to a fiscal imbalance. Shocks which were dormant under the Virtuous regime now start manifesting themselves. These changes are initially imperceptible, can unfold over decades, and accelerate as agents' beliefs deteriorate. Dormant shocks explain the run-up of US inflation and uncertainty in the 70s. The currently low long term interest rates and inflation expectations might hide the true risk of inflation faced by the US economy.
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Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28, pages 1-46, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12935
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    Cited by:

    1. Troy Davig & Andrew Foerster, 2019. "Uncertainty and Fiscal Cliffs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(7), pages 1857-1887, October.
    2. Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Signaling Effects of Monteray Policy," 2014 Meeting Papers 830, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Bianchi, Francesco & Melosi, Leonardo, 2019. "The dire effects of the lack of monetary and fiscal coordination," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 1-22.
    4. Wolters Maik H. & Tillmann Peter, 2015. "The changing dynamics of US inflation persistence: a quantile regression approach," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 161-182, April.
    5. Marco Bassetto & Thomas J. Sargent, 2020. "Shotgun Wedding: Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Staff Report 599, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Escaping the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1030-1058, April.
    7. Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The consequences of an unknown debt target," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 76-96.
    8. Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Signalling Effects of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 853-884.
    9. Harrison, Richard, 2015. "Estimating the effects of forward guidance in rational expectations models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 196-213.
    10. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2018. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 187-202, March.
    11. Seonghoon Cho, 2016. "Sufficient Conditions for Determinacy in a Class of Markov-Switching Rational Expectations Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 182-200, July.
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    14. Claeys, Peter & Vašíček, Bořek, 2019. "Transmission of uncertainty shocks: Learning from heterogeneous responses on a panel of EU countries," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 62-83.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • 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

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