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Debt, inflation and central bank independence

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  • Fernando M. Martin

Abstract

Making the central bank more independent from political pressures lowers inflation and increases the primary deficit, persistently. In the long-run, however, fiscal considerations are paramount and inflation comes back up to accommodate the higher financial burden of accumulated public debt. Endowing instead the central bank with an explicit inflation target lowers long-run inflation and implies non-trivial welfare gains for private agents. Inflation-targeting has the added virtue of determining the primary deficit independently of political frictions. The theory helps explain several key developments in postwar U.S. policy.

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  • Fernando M. Martin, 2013. "Debt, inflation and central bank independence," Working Papers 2013-017, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2013-017
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    2. Masciandaro, Donato, 2022. "Independence, conservatism, and beyond: Monetary policy, central bank governance and central banker preferences (1981–2021)," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Masciandaro, Donato & Romelli, Davide, 2015. "Ups and downs of central bank independence from the Great Inflation to the Great Recession: theory, institutions and empirics," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 259-289, December.
    4. Geeta Garg, 2015. "Impact of trilemma indicators on macroeconomic policy: Does central bank independence matter?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-019, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    5. Francesco Bianchi & Cosmin Ilut, 2017. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agent's Beliefs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 113-139, October.
    6. Abdelkader Aguir, 2018. "Central Bank Credibility, Independence, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Central Banking Theory and Practice, Central bank of Montenegro, vol. 7(3), pages 91-110.
    7. Talknice Saungweme & Nicholas M. Odhiambo, "undated". "Does Public Debt Granger-Cause Inflation In Tanzania? A Multivariate Analysis," Working Papers AESRI06, African Economic and Social Research Institute (AESRI).
    8. Ftiti, Zied & Aguir, Abdelkader & Smida, Mounir, 2017. "Time-inconsistency and expansionary business cycle theories: What does matter for the central bank independence–inflation relationship?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 215-227.
    9. Fernando M. Martin, 2016. "The Value of Constraints on Discretionary Government Policy," Working Papers 2016-19, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    10. Saungweme, Talknice & Odhiambo, Nicholas M., 2022. "Does Public Debt Granger-Cause Inflation in Tanzania? A Multivariate Analysis," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 75(1), pages 75-100.
    11. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2019. "Behavioral Monetary Policymaking: Economics, Political Economy and Psychology," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Behavioral Finance The Coming of Age, chapter 9, pages 285-329, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Martin Kliem & Alexander Kriwoluzky & Samad Sarferaz, 2016. "On the Low‐Frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 566-583, April.
    13. BLANCHETON Bertrand, 2015. "Towards a tacit low-degree independence central banking model ?," Cahiers du GREThA (2007-2019) 2015-17, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    14. Kliem, Martin & Kriwoluzky, Alexander & Sarferaz, Samad, 2016. "Monetary–fiscal policy interaction and fiscal inflation: A tale of three countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 158-184.
    15. Blancheton, Bertrand, 2016. "Central bank independence in a historical perspective. Myth, lessons and a new model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 101-107.
    16. Jean Barthélemy & Eric Mengus & Guillaume Plantin, 2021. "The Central Bank, the Treasury, or the Market: Which One Determines the Price Level?," Working papers 855, Banque de France.
    17. D. Masciandaro, 2019. "What Bird Is That? Central Banking And Monetary Policy In The Last Forty Years," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19127, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    18. Fernando Martin, 2019. "How to Starve the Beast: Fiscal and Monetary Policy Rules," 2019 Meeting Papers 1181, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2018. "To Be or not to Be a Euro Country? The Behavioural Political Economics of Currency Unions," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1883, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    20. Saungweme, Talknice & Odhiambo, Nicholas M., 2022. "Does Public Debt Granger-Cause Inflation in Tanzania? A Multivariate Analysis," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 75(1), pages 75-100.
    21. Ohik Kwon & Seungduck Lee & Jaevin Park, 2020. "Central Bank Digital Currency, Tax Evasion, Inflation Tax, and Central Bank Independence," Working Papers 2020-26, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    22. Aleksander Berentsen & Samuel Huber & Alessandro Marchesiani, 2014. "Degreasing The Wheels Of Finance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(3), pages 735-763, August.
    23. Ohik Kwon & Seungduck Lee & Jaevin Park, 2022. "Central bank digital currency, tax evasion, and inflation tax," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(4), pages 1497-1519, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt; Inflation (Finance); Banks and banking; Central;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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