IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Monetary And Fiscal Policy Interaction With Various Degrees And Types Of Commitment

  • Jan Libich


  • Andrew Hughes Hallett
  • Petr Stehlik

Monetary and fiscal policies interact in many ways. Recently, the stance of fiscal policy in a number of countries (including the EU and the US) has raised concerns about risks for the outcomes of monetary policy. Our paper first shows that these concerns are justified since - under an ambitious fiscal policymaker - inflation bias and lack of monetary policy credibility may obtain in equilibrium, even if the central banker is fully independent, patient, and responsible. To reach a possible solution the paper proposes a novel asynchronous game theoretic framework that generalizes the standard commitment concept. Most importantly, it allows for concurrent and partial commitment, ie both policies may be committed at the same time, and may do so with varying degrees. It is demonstrated that the undesirable scenario can be prevented if monetary commitment is sufficiently strong relative to fiscal commitment. Interestingly, such strong monetary commitment can not only resist fiscal pressure, but also discipline an ambitious fiscal policymaker and achieve socially desirable outcomes for both policies. We then extend the setting to the European monetary union case with a common central bank and many heterogeneous fiscal policymakers and show that these findings carry over. The policy implication therefore follows: by more explicitly committing to a numerical (long-run) inflation target, the ECB, the Fed, and others would not only ensure their credibility, but also indirectly induce a reduction in the size of the budget deficit and debt. The paper concludes by showing that all our predictions are empirically supported.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [301 Moved Permanently]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Cama Admin)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2007-21.

in new window

Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2007-21
Contact details of provider: Postal: Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, Building #132, Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag, 1999. "Monetary policy arithmetic: some recent contributions," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 26-36.
  2. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium, I: Observable Actions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1799, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Avinash Dixit & Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Interactions of Commitment and Discretion in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1522-1542, December.
  4. Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Seminar Papers 666, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svenssor, Lars E. O., 2005. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Papers 09-03-2005, Princeton University, Research Program in Political Economy.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  7. Robert A. Mundell, 1962. "The Appropriate Use of Monetary and Fiscal Policy for Internal and External Stability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 70-79, March.
  8. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P.M., 2004. "How Transparent Are Central Banks?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  10. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  11. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2002. "Independence Before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics, and Central Bank Design," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0202, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  12. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsui, 1997. "Asynchronous Choice in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1467-1478, November.
  13. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
  14. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich, 2007. "Fiscal-monetary Interactions: The Effect of Fiscal Restraint and Public Monitoring on Central Bank Credibility," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 559-576, November.
  15. Jon Faust & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and credibility: monetary policy with unobservable goals," International Finance Discussion Papers 605, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2010. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, 1: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 397, David K. Levine.
  17. Richard C. Barnett, 2001. "Inflation, taxes, and the coordination of monetary and fiscal policy by use of a game of chicken," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 82-99, February.
  18. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 1999. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility? An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Luke B. Willard, 2006. "Does Inflation Targeting Matter? A Reassessment," Working Papers 82, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  20. Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2007. "Incorporating Rigidity In The Timing Structure Of Macroeconomic Games," CAMA Working Papers 2007-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  21. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Tobin, James, 1982. "Money and Finance in the Macroeconomic Process," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 171-204, May.
  23. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  24. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Not Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 129-136, 03.
  25. In-Koo Cho & Akihiko Matsui, 2005. "Time Consistency In Alternating-Move Policy Games," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 273-294.
  26. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  27. Andrew Hallett & Jan Libich, 2012. "Explicit inflation targets and central bank independence: friends or foes?," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 271-297, November.
  28. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  29. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  30. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  31. Catherine A. Pattillo & Paul R. Masson, 2001. "Monetary Union in West Africa: An Agency of Restraint for Fiscal Policies?," IMF Working Papers 01/34, International Monetary Fund.
  32. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  33. Jan Libich, 2006. "Inflexibility Of Inflation Targeting Revisited: Modeling The "Anchoring"Effect," CAMA Working Papers 2006-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2007-21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Cama Admin)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.