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Policy rules, information and fiscal effects in a "Ricardian" model

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  • Eric M. Leeper

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, if deficits are inflationary then current deficits should predict subsequent movements in money growth. This paper USES a general equilibrium model fit to data to: (1) explore the policy behavior underlying this accepted viewpoint; (2) examine alternative equi­librium deficit policies ranging from an exclusive reliance on direct lump-sum taxes to a mix of direct and inflation taxes; and (3) evaluate the empirical trade-offs implied by the various financing schemes. The results suggest that reduced-form analyses of whether "deficits matter" can lead to seriously misleading conclusions by mistakenly attributing fiscal effects to monetary policy. ; I demonstrate that simple monetary and tax policy rules and plausible assumptions about when private agents learn of fiscal actions can produce a classical economy whose nominal equilibrium depends on the process for lump­sum taxes and whose time series contradict the view that monetized deficits predict inflation. I assess the fit of versions of the model to U.S. data and reinterpret existing reduced-form studies in light of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric M. Leeper, 1989. "Policy rules, information and fiscal effects in a "Ricardian" model," International Finance Discussion Papers 360, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:360
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1989/360/default.htm
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1989/360/ifdp360.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Evans, Paul, 1987. "Interest Rates and Expected Future Budget Deficits in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 34-58, February.
    2. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 1985. "Money, deficits, and inflation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 147-195, January.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
    4. Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr, 1982. "Inflation and Government Deficits," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 315-329, July.
    5. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hess Chung & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "What Has Financed Government Debt?," NBER Working Papers 13425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eric Leeper & Todd Walker, 2011. "Information Flows and News Driven Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 55-71, January.
    3. Bin Chen & Jinho Choi & Juan Carlos Escanciano, 2017. "Testing for fundamental vector moving average representations," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), pages 149-180, March.
    4. Woodford, Michael, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 669-728, August.
    5. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2305 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
    7. Eric M. Leeper, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Inflation: Pondering the Imponderables," NBER Working Papers 9506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Luca Sala, 2004. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level: Identifying Restrictions and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 257, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    9. Eric M. Leeper, 1990. "The dynamics of interest rate and tax rules in a stochastic model," International Finance Discussion Papers 375, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Cassou, Steven P., 1995. "Optimal tax rules in a dynamic stochastic economy with capital," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1165-1197.
    11. Srobona Mitra, 2007. "Is the Quantity of Government Debt a Constraint for Monetary Policy?," IMF Working Papers 07/62, International Monetary Fund.

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