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Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy

  • Javier Diaz-Gimenez
  • Giorgia Giovannetti
  • Ramon Marimon
  • Pedro Teles

We characterize the optimal sequential choice of monetary policy in economies with either nominal or indexed debt. In a model where nominal debt is the only source of time inconsistency, the Markov-perfect equilibrium policy implies the progressive depletion of the outstanding stock of debt, until the time inconsistency disappears. There is a resulting welfare loss if debt is nominal rather than indexed. We also analyze the case where monetary policy is time inconsistent even when debt is indexed. In this case, with nominal debt, the sequential optimal policy converges to a time-consistent steady state with positive -- or negative -- debt, depending on the value of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. Welfare can be higher if debt is nominal rather than indexed and the level of debt is not too high.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/53.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/53
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  1. Juan Pablo Nicolini & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2001. "Inside Outside Money Competition," Department of Economics Working Papers 004, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  2. Juan P. Nicolini, 1993. "More on the time inconsistency of optimal monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 56, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  4. Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2000. "Nominal Debt as a Burden to Monetary Policy," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1387, Econometric Society.
  5. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1991. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: some recent results," Staff Report 147, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Fernando M. Martin, 2004. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Macroeconomics 0408013, EconWPA, revised 12 Oct 2004.
  7. Reis, Catarina, 2006. "Taxation without Commitment," MPRA Paper 2071, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 2005. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  10. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
  11. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 588-614, September.
  12. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2004. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 541-567, 03.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  14. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
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