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Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky wages and sticky prices

  • Sanjay K. Chugh

We determine the optimal degree of price inflation volatility when nominal wages are sticky and the government uses state-contingent inflation to finance government spending. We address this question in a well-understood Ramsey model of fiscal and monetary policy, in which the benevolent planner has access to labor income taxes, nominal riskless debt, and money creation. One main result is that sticky wages alone make price stability optimal in the face of government spending shocks, to a degree quantitatively similar as sticky prices alone. With productivity shocks also present, optimal inflation volatility is higher, but still dampened relative to the fully-flexible economy. Key for our results is an equilibrium restriction between nominal price inflation and nominal wage inflation that holds trivially in a Ramsey model featuring only sticky prices. We also show that the nominal interest rate can be used to indirectly tax the rents of monopolistic labor suppliers. Interestingly, a necessary condition for the ability to use the nominal interest rate for this purpose is positive producer profits. Taken together, our results uncover features of Ramsey fiscal and monetary policy in the presence of labor market imperfections that are widely-believed to be important.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 834.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:834
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  1. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Imperfect Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. David M. Arseneau & Sanjay K. Chugh, 2006. "Ramsey meets Hosios: the optimal capital tax and labor market efficiency," International Finance Discussion Papers 870, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 383-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
  12. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  13. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  14. David Domeij, 2005. "Optimal Capital Taxation and Labor Market Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 623-650, July.
  15. 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.
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