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Dealing with a liquidity trap when government debt matters: optimal time-consistent monetary and fiscal policy

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  • Burgert, Matthias
  • Schmidt, Sebastian

Abstract

How does the need to preserve government debt sustainability affect the optimal monetary and fiscal policy response to a liquidity trap? To provide an answer, we employ a small stochastic New Keynesian model with a zero bound on nominal interest rates and characterize optimal time-consistent stabilization policies. We focus on two policy tools, the short-term nominal interest rate and debt-financed government spending. The optimal policy response to a liquidity trap critically depends on the prevailing debt burden. In our model, while the optimal amount of government spending is decreasing in the level of outstanding government debt, future monetary policy is becoming more accommodative, triggering a change in private sector expectations that helps to dampen the fall in output and inflation at the outset of the liquidity trap. JEL Classification: E31, E52, E62, E63, D11

Suggested Citation

  • Burgert, Matthias & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2013. "Dealing with a liquidity trap when government debt matters: optimal time-consistent monetary and fiscal policy," Working Paper Series 1622, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20131622
    Note: 2179645
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    Cited by:

    1. Wieland, Volker & Wolters, Maik, 2014. "Is there a threat of self-reinforcing deflation in the euro area? A view through the lens of the Phillips curve," Kiel Policy Brief 79, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Belgibayeva, Adiya & Horvath, Michal, 2019. "Real Rigidities And Optimal Stabilization At The Zero Lower Bound In New Keynesian Economies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 1371-1400, June.
    3. João Braz Pinto & João Sousa Andrade, 2015. "A Monetary Analysis of the Liquidity Trap," GEMF Working Papers 2015-06, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    4. Boris Chafwehé & Rigas Oikonomou & Romanos Priftis & Lukas Vogel, 2021. "(Optimal) Monetary Policy with and without Debt," Staff Working Papers 21-5, Bank of Canada.
    5. Taisuke Nakata & Takeki Sunakawa, 2019. "Credible Forward Guidance," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-037, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Dmitry Matveev, 2018. "Time-Consistent Management of a Liquidity Trap with Government Debt," Staff Working Papers 18-38, Bank of Canada.
    7. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2014. "Are rules and boundaries sufficient to limit harmful central bank discretion? Lessons from Europe," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 121-125.
    8. Nakata, Taisuke & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2019. "Conservatism and liquidity traps," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 37-47.
    9. Taisuke Nakata & Sebastian Schmidt, 2019. "Gradualism and Liquidity Traps," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 182-199, January.
    10. Sebastian Schmidt, 2017. "Fiscal Activism and the Zero Nominal Interest Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(4), pages 695-732, June.
    11. Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Systematic fiscal policy and macroeconomic performance: A critical overview of the literature," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-37.
    12. Séverine Menguy, 2016. "Optimal Budgetary Policies in New-Keynesian Models: Can they help when the Zero Lower Bound is binding?," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 43-98.
    13. Dufrénot, Gilles & Jawadi, Fredj & Khayat, Guillaume A., 2018. "A model of fiscal dominance under the “Reinhart Conjecture”," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 332-345.
    14. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Uncertainty at the Zero Lower Bound," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 186-221, July.
    15. Taisuke Nakata & Sebastian Schmidt, 2019. "Gradualism and Liquidity Traps," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 182-199, January.
    16. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Optimal Government Spending at the Zero Lower Bound: A Non-Ricardian Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 150-169, January.
    17. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Optimal Government Spending at the Zero Lower Bound: A Non-Ricardian Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 150-169, January.
    18. Luk, Paul & Vines, David, 2015. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in an Economy with Endogenous Public Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 10580, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    deficit spending; discretion; monetary and fiscal policy; new Keynesian model; zero nominal interest rate bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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