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The fiscal theory of the price level: a narrow theory for non-fiat money

Author

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  • Óscar J. Arce

    () (Banco de España)

Abstract

I examine the postulates of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level (FTPL) under a nominal interest rate peg. First, I show that the usual definition of a non-Ricardian plan involves a number of government's non-credible policy commitments, thus confuting the interpretation of the FTPL as a policy-based equilibrium selection device. The main novelty of this criticism is that it is based on the same core assumptions maintained by this theory: there is a positive stock of governmentissued assets at the beginning of the history owned by the households, flow of funds constraints must be respected in every contingency, although transversality conditions may be violated at off-equilibrium prices. Then I investigate some additional necessary conditions that allow the government to implement non-Ricardian fiscal plans that result in a unique equilibrium under an interest rate peg. A critical necessary condition for the credibility of such a fiscalist plan is that the equilibrium level of seigniorage must be non-positive. I argue that the fiscalist stock-analogy, under this monetary rule, is only meaningful, precisely, when money enters into the government constraint as a destination of funds, rather than as a source.

Suggested Citation

  • Óscar J. Arce, 2005. "The fiscal theory of the price level: a narrow theory for non-fiat money," Working Papers 0501, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0501
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    File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/05/Fic/dt0501e.pdf
    File Function: First version, January 2005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Canova, Fabio & Ciccarelli, Matteo & Ortega, Eva, 2007. "Similarities and convergence in G-7 cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 850-878, April.
    2. Ana Buisán & Juan Carlos Caballero & José Manuel Campa & Noelia Jiménez, 2004. "La importancia de la histéresis en las exportaciones de manufacturas de los países de la UEM," Monetaria, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 169-222, abril-jun.
    3. Andrew Benito & Ignacio Hernando, 2008. "Labour Demand, Flexible Contracts and Financial Factors: Firm-Level Evidence from Spain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(3), pages 283-301, June.
    4. Andrés, Javier & López-Salido, J David & Nelson, Edward, 2004. "Tobin's Imperfect Asset Substitution in Optimizing General Equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 4336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Javier Andrés & Eva Ortega & Javier Vallés, 2003. "Market structure and inflation differentials in the European Monetary Union," Working Papers 0301, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 565-583, Winter.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal-monetary interactions; fiscal theory of the price level; interest rate pegging; government commitment;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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