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Is The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level Learnable?

  • Bennett T. McCallum

This paper presents a prototype model for development of the “fiscal theory of the price level.” In this simple setting, the fiscal theory’s distinctiveness relies upon adoption of a bubble solution, rather than the rational-expectations fundamentals solution. The paper then shows that the fiscal solution is not adaptively learnable, by agents who estimate coefficients relevant for forecasting on the basis of available data, whereas the orthodox “monetarist” solution exists and is learnable. Finally, it is argued that similar results should be expected to apply in more complex models. JEL Nos. E5, E6, D8. Keywords: Monetary theory, fiscal theory, price level determination, learning, rational expectations.

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File URL: https://student-3k.tepper.cmu.edu/gsiadoc/wp/2003-24.pdf
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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2003-24.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1268904776
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

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  1. Philippe Weil, 2002. "Reflections on the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8643, Sciences Po.
  2. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. John H. Cochrane, 2000. "Money as Stock: Price Level Determination with no Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 7498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Theoretical Issues Pertaining to Monetary Unions," NBER Working Papers 7393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Narayana Kocherlakota & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "Explaining the fiscal theory of the price level," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 14-23.
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  12. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
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  19. Bennett T. McCallum, 2003. "The Unique Minimum State Variable RE Solution is E-Stable in All Well Formulated Linear Models," NBER Working Papers 9960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  26. Willem H. Buiter, 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs, and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 6396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Bennett T. McCallum, 2002. "Consistent Expectations, Rational Expectations, Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies, and Least-Squares Learnability," NBER Working Papers 9218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Willem H. Buiter, 2002. "The Fiscal Theory Of The Price Level: A Critique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(481), pages 459-480, July.
  29. Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Comment on: Multiple-solution indeterminacies in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1177-1188, July.
  30. Evans, George, 1985. "Expectational Stability and the Multiple Equilibria Problem in Linear Rational Expectations Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1217-33, November.
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