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Central bank independence and the monetary instrument problem

  • Stefan Niemann

    ()

  • Paul Pichler

    ()

  • Gerhard Sorger

    ()

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. Focussing 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.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 687.

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Date of creation: 12 Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:687
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  1. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2004. "Monetary Discretion, Pricing Complementarity, and Dynamic Multiple Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1513-1553, November.
  2. Ramon Marimon & Javier Díaz-Giménez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Pedro Teles, 2007. "Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jim Malley & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Ulrich Woitek, 2005. "Electoral Uncertainty, Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," CESifo Working Paper Series 1593, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Michael Dotsey & Andreas Hornstein, 2008. "On the implementation of Markov-perfect interest rate and money supply rules: global and local uniqueness," Working Papers 08-30, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Fernando Martin, 2009. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 608-631, October.
  6. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2007. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 728-752, April.
  7. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2003. "Poole in the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 4083, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Andreas Schabert, 2006. "Central Bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 742-762, October.
  9. Stefan Niemann & Paul Pichler & Gerhard Sorger, 2009. "Inflation dynamics under optimal discretionary fiscal and monetary policies," Economics Discussion Papers 681, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Martin Ellison & Neil Rankin, 2005. " Optimal Monetary Policy When Lump-Sum Taxes Are Unavailable: A Reconsideration of the Outcomes under Commitment and Discretion," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0501, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  11. Stefan Niemann, 2009. "Dynamic Monetary-Fiscal Interactions and the Role of Monetary Conservatism," Economics Discussion Papers 667, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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