Time Inconsistency and Free-Riding in a Monetary Union
In monetary unions, a time inconsistency problem in monetary policy leads to a novel type of free-rider problem in the setting of non-monetary policies. The free-rider problem leads union members to pursue lax non-monetary policies that induce the monetary authority to generate high inflation. Free-riding can be mitigated by imposing constraints on non-monetary policies. Without a time inconsistency problem, the union has no free-rider problem; then constraints on non-monetary policies are unnecessary and possibly harmful. This theory is here detailed and applied to several non-monetary policies: labor market policy, fiscal policy, and bank regulation. Copyright (c) 2008 Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis with Exclusive License to Print by The Ohio State University.
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