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Anticipated Ramsey reforms and the uniform taxation principle: the role of international financial markets

  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martín

This paper studies the role of asset-market completeness for the properties of optimal fiscal and monetary policy. A suitable framework for this purpose is the small open economy with complete international asset markets. For in this environment changes in policy represent country-specific risk diversifiable in world markets. Our main finding is that the fundamental public finance principle whereby when taxes on all final goods are available, it is optimal to tax final goods uniformly fails to obtain. In general, uniform taxation is optimal because it amounts to a non-distorting tax on fixed factors of production. In the open economy this principle fails because when households can insure against the risk of a policy reform, initial private asset holdings are contingent on actual policy and thus no longer represent an inelastically supplied source of income. Furthermore optimal consumption and income taxes do not respond to government purchases shocks and the Friedman rule is optimal only if the Ramsey planner has access to consumption taxes. JEL Classification: F41, E52, E61, E63

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0210.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030210
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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. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 519-546.
  3. 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.
  4. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 10149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cunha, Alexandre B., 2002. "Optimal Exchange Rate Policy and Business Cycles," Insper Working Papers wpe_19, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-90, October.
  7. Alan C. Stockman, 1978. "A Theory of Exchange Rate Determination," UCLA Economics Working Papers 113, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Helpman, Elhanan & Razin, Assaf, 1984. "The role of saving and investment in exchange rate determination under alternative monetary mechanisms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 307-325, May.
  9. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  10. Cunha, Alexandre B., 2002. "Optimal Exchange Rate Policy, Optimal Incomplete Taxation and Business Cycles," Insper Working Papers wpe_16, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  11. 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.
  12. ColemanII, Wilbur John, 2000. "Welfare and optimum dynamic taxation of consumption and income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-39, April.
  13. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1986. "Temporary Stabilization: Predetermined Exchange Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1319-29, December.
  15. Guidotti, Pablo E. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1993. "The optimal inflation tax when money reduces transactions costs : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-205, April.
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