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Optimal policy for macro-financial stability

  • Gianluca Benigno
  • Huigang Chen
  • Christopher Otrok
  • Alessandro Rebucci
  • Eric R. Young

In this paper we study whether policy makers should wait to intervene until a financial crisis strikes or rather act in a preemptive manner. We study this question in a relatively simple dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model in which crises are endogenous events induced by the presence of an occasionally binding borrowing constraint as in Mendoza (2010). First, we show that the same set of taxes that replicates the constrained social planner allocation could be used optimally by a Ramsey planner to achieve the first best unconstrained equilibrium: in both cases without any precautionary intervention. Second, we show that the extent to which policymakers should intervene in a preemptive manner depends critically on the set of policy tools available and what these instruments can achieve when a crisis strikes. For example, in the context of our model, we find that, if the policy tools is constrained so that the first best cannot be achieved and the policy maker has access to only one tax instrument, it is always desirable to intervene before the crisis regardless of the instrument used. If however the policy maker has access to two instruments, it is optimal to act only during crisis times. Third and finally, we propose a computational algorithm to solve Markov-Perfect optimal policy for problems in which the policy function is not differentiable.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2012-041.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-041
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  1. Kehoe, Timothy J & Levine, David K, 1993. "Debt-Constrained Asset Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 865-88, October.
  2. Christopher Otrok & Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric R. Young, 2012. "Capital Controls or Exchange Rate Policy? A Pecuniary Externality Perspective," Working Papers 1209, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  3. Bianchi, Javier, 2009. "Overborrowing and Systemic Externalities in the Business Cycle," MPRA Paper 16270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Jonathan D. Ostry & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1992. "Private Saving and Terms of Trade Shocks: Evidence from Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 495-517, September.
  5. Kim, Sunghyun Henry & Kollmann, Robert & Kim, Jinill, 2010. "Solving the incomplete market model with aggregate uncertainty using a perturbation method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 50-58, January.
  6. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities,1970–2004," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp126, IIIS.
  7. Olivier Jeanne & Romain Rancière, 2011. "The Optimal Level of International Reserves For Emerging Market Countries: A New Formula and Some Applications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 905-930, 09.
  8. Gianluca Benigno & Huigang Chen & Christopher Otrok & Alessandro Rebucci & Eric Young, 2011. "Financial Crises and Macro-Prudential Policies," Research Department Publications 4710, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Luis Fernando Mejía, 2008. "Systemic Sudden Stops: The Relevance of Balance-Sheet Effects and Financial Integration," Research Department Publications 4581, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Javier Bianchi & Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Overborrowing, Financial Crises and 'Macro-prudential' Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309, April.
  12. Wilbur John Coleman II, 1989. "Equilibrium in a production economy with an income tax," International Finance Discussion Papers 366, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  14. Krusell, Per, 2002. "Time-consistent redistribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 755-769, May.
  15. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2004. "Optimal monetary policy under commitment with a zero bound on nominal interest rates," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  16. Enrique G. Mendoza, 2010. "Sudden Stops, Financial Crises, and Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 1941-66, December.
  17. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
  18. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2012. "Financial Intermediation, Exchange Rates, and Unconventional Policy in an Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 18431, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2007. "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 13111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim Ruhl, 2008. "Data Appendix to "Are Shocks to the Terms of Trade Shocks to Productivity?"," Technical Appendices 07-40, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  21. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
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