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The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies

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Abstract

We show that optimal monetary and fiscal policies are time consistent for a class of economies often used in applied work, economies appealing because they are consistent with the growth facts. We establish our results in two steps. We first show that for this class of economies, the Friedman rule of setting nominal interest rates to zero is optimal under commitment. We then show that optimal policies are time consistent if the Friedman rule is optimal. For our benchmark economy in which the time consistency problem is most severe, the converse also holds: if optimal policies are time consistent, then the Friedman rule is optimal.

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  • Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2003. "The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies," Staff Report 305, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:305
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    1. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-1431, November.
    2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
    3. Robert E. Lucas, 2001. "Inflation and Welfare," International Economic Association Series, in: Axel Leijonhufvud (ed.), Monetary Theory as a Basis for Monetary Policy, chapter 4, pages 96-142, Palgrave Macmillan.
    4. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1999. "The Optimal Inflation Tax," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), pages 325-346, April.
    5. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
    6. Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "Sustainable Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 783-802, August.
    9. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1245-1247, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefania Albanesi, "undated". "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," Working Papers 207, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Mats Persson & Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 193-212, January.
    3. Paul Hiebert & Javier J. Pérez & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Debt reduction and automatic stabilisation," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/12, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    4. Albanesi, Stefania, 2003. "Optimal and Time-Consistent Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 3713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    Keywords

    Interest rates; Fiscal policy; Monetary policy;
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