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Unconventional Fiscal Policy at the Zero Bound

  • Correia, Isabel
  • Farhi, Emmanuel
  • Nicolini, Juan Pablo
  • Teles, Pedro

When the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates binds, monetary policy cannot provide appropriate stimulus. We show that in the standard New Keynesian model, tax policy can deliver such stimulus at no cost and in a time-consistent manner. There is no need to use inefficient policies such as wasteful public spending or future commitments to inflate. We conclude that in the New Keynesian model, the zero bound on nominal interest rates is not a relevant constraint on both fiscal and monetary policy.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8193.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8193
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  1. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Isabel Correia & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: equivalence results," Staff Report 403, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Thorsten Drautzburg & Harald F. Uhlig, 2013. "Fiscal stimulus and distortionary taxation," Working Papers 13-46, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 199-215, 09.
  5. Thorsten Drautzburg & Harald Uhlig, 2015. "Online Appendix to "Fiscal Stimulus and Distortionary Taxation"," Technical Appendices 14-44, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  6. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  7. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 519-39, August.
  10. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
  11. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  12. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2009. "What fiscal policy is effective at zero interest rates?," Staff Reports 402, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
  15. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  16. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Policy Options in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 76-79, May.
  17. Bernardino Adao & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2011. "Unique Monetary Equilibria with Interest Rate Rules," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(3), pages 432-442, July.
  18. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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