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Simple monetary rules under fiscal dominance

  • Michael Kumhof
  • Ricardo Nunes
  • Irina Yakadina

This paper asks whether an aggressive monetary policy response to inflation is feasible in countries that suffer from fiscal dominance, as long as monetary policy also responds to fiscal variables. We find that if nominal interest rates are allowed to respond to government debt, even aggressive rules that satisfy the Taylor principle can produce unique equilibria. But following such rules results in extremely volatile inflation. This leads to very frequent violations of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates that make such rules infeasible. Even within the set of feasible rules the optimal response to inflation is highly negative, and more aggressive inflation fighting is inferior from a welfare point of view. The welfare gain from responding to fiscal variables is minimal compared to the gain from eliminating fiscal dominance.

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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 937.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:937
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  1. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 519-39, August.
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  3. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," NBER Working Papers 10253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2001. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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  13. Kumhof, Michael & Li, Shujing & Yan, Isabel, 2007. "Balance of payments crises under inflation targeting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 242-264, May.
  14. Michael Kumhof & Evan Tanner, 2005. "Government Debt: A Key Role in Financial Intermediation," IMF Working Papers 05/57, International Monetary Fund.
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  18. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  19. Ricardo Nunes, 2010. "Inflation Dynamics: The Role of Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(6), pages 1161-1172, 09.
  20. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
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