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Central bank independence and the monetary instrument problem

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  • Niemann, S
  • Pichler, P
  • Sorger, G

Abstract

We study the monetary instrument problem in a model of optimal discretionary fiscal and monetary policy. The policy problem is cast as a dynamic game between the central bank, the fiscal authority, and the private sector. We show that, as long as there is a conflict of interest between the two policy-makers, the central bank's monetary instrument choice critically affects the Markov-perfect Nash equilibrium of this game. Focusing on a scenario where the fiscal authority is impatient relative to the monetary authority, we show that the equilibrium allocation is typically characterized by a public spending bias if the central bank uses the nominal money supply as its instrument. If it uses instead the nominal interest rate, the central bank can prevent distortions due to fiscal impatience and implement the same equilibrium allocation that would obtain under cooperation of two benevolent policy authorities. Despite this property, the welfare-maximizing choice of instrument depends on the economic environment under consideration. In particular, the money growth instrument is to be preferred whenever fiscal impatience has positive welfare effects, which is easily possible under lack of commitment.

Suggested Citation

  • Niemann, S & Pichler, P & Sorger, G, 2010. "Central bank independence and the monetary instrument problem," Economics Discussion Papers 2902, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:2902
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    Cited by:

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    2. D. Masciandaro, 2019. "What Bird Is That? Central Banking And Monetary Policy In The Last Forty Years," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19127, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    3. Enrico Saltari & Willi Semmler & Giovanni Di Bartolomeo, 2021. "A Nash Equilibrium for Differential Games with Moving-horizon Strategies," Working Papers in Public Economics 197, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Economics and Law.
    4. Di Bartolomeo, Giovanni & Saltari, Enrico & Semmler, Willi, 2019. "The effects of political short-termism on transitions induced by pollution regulations," EconStor Preprints 200143, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    5. Pichler, Paul, 2011. "Solving the multi-country Real Business Cycle model using a monomial rule Galerkin method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 240-251, February.
    6. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2019. "Behavioral Monetary Policymaking: Economics, Political Economy and Psychology," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Behavioral Finance The Coming of Age, chapter 9, pages 285-329, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2018. "To Be or not to Be a Euro Country? The Behavioural Political Economics of Currency Unions," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1883, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    8. Fernando M. Martin, 2020. "Fiscal Dominance," Working Papers 2020-040, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 20 Sep 2021.
    9. Saungweme, Talknice & Odhiambo, Nicholas M, 2021. "Does public debt granger-cause inflation? A multivariate analysis," Working Papers 28342, University of South Africa, Department of Economics.
    10. Niemann, Stefan & Pichler, Paul, 2011. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policies in the face of rare disasters," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 75-92, January.

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