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Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices

  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martín

This Paper studies optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky product prices. The theoretical framework is a stochastic production economy without capital. The government finances an exogeneous stream of purchases by levying distortionary income taxes, printing money, and issuing one-period nominally risk-free bonds. The main findings of the Paper are: First, for a miniscule degree of price stickiness (ie. many times below available empirical estimates) the optimal volatility of inflation is near zero. This result stands in stark contrast with the high volatility of inflation implied by the Ramsey allocation when prices are flexible. The finding is in line with a recent body of work on optimal monetary policy under nominal rigidities that ignores the role of optimal fiscal policy. Second, even small deviations from full price flexibility induce near random walk behaviour in government debt and tax rates, as in economies with real non-state-contingent debt only. Finally, sluggish price adjustment raises the average nominal interest rate above the one called for by the Friedman rule.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2942.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2942
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  12. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 438, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Nov 1999.
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  25. 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.
  26. Kimbrough, Kent P, 1986. "Inflation, Employment, and Welfare in the Presence of Transactions Costs," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 127-40, May.
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  28. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 540-42, August.
  29. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 1996. "Optimal taxation without state-contingent debt," Economics Working Papers 170, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2001.
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  31. Brian Sack, 1998. "Uncertainty, learning, and gradual monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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