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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. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2000. "Understanding the fiscal theory of the price level," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-38.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Comment on: Multiple-solution indeterminacies in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1177-1188, July.
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  6. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  7. Norbert Janssen & Charles Nolan & Ryland Thomas, 2004. "Money, Debt and Prices in the UK 1705-1996," CDMA Working Paper Series 200407, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Theoretical Issues Pertaining to Monetary Unions," NBER Working Papers 7393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Philippe Weil, 2002. "Reflections on the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8643, Sciences Po.
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  16. Bennett T. McCallum, 1982. "Are Bond-Financed Deficits Inflationary? A Ricardian Analysis," NBER Working Papers 0905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "The Fallacy of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 7302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Woodford, Michael, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 669-728, August.
  20. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1997. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
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  25. Buiter, Willem H., 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," CEPR Discussion Papers 1799, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1992. "On the Robustness of Bubbles in Linear RE Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-14, February.
  27. 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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  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.
  31. 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.
  32. Bergin, Paul R., 2000. "Fiscal solvency and price level determination in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 37-53, February.
  33. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
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  35. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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