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Keynesian conundrum: multiplicity and time consistent stabilization

  • Bill Dupor

This paper identifies a novel form of dynamic inconsistency of stabilization policy in increasing returns models that generate multiple equilibria. We present a two-period version of the Benhabib-Farmer (1994) externalities model and derive closed-form solutions for all endogenous variables in every perfect foresight equilibrium. We provide conditions under which the stabilization policy that maximizes time zero consumer welfare is not time consistent. Furthermore, we characterize the time consistent stabilization policy. Our results cast doubts on the usefulness of government coordination of economic activity when the government lacks a commitment mechanism. Without commitment, a benevolent government can rule out multiplicity only by ensuring that a pareto dominated equilibrium obtains.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 131.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:131
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  1. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, 1988. "Multiple Expectational Equilibria Under Monopolistic Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(4), pages 695-713.
  2. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
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  15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital utilization and returns to scale," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Roger E.A. Farmer, 1994. "The Econometrics of Indeterminacy: An Applied Study," UCLA Economics Working Papers 720, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Bennett, R.L. & Farmer, R.E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy with Non-Separable Utility," Economics Working Papers eco99/34, European University Institute.
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  29. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 1988. "Time consistency and policy," Staff Report 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  31. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
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