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The advantage of flexible targeting rules

  • Andrea Ferrero

This paper investigates the consequences of debt stabilization for inflation targeting. If the monetary authority perfectly stabilizes inflation while the fiscal authority holds constant the real value of debt at maturity, the equilibrium dynamics might be indeterminate. However, determinacy can be restored by committing to targeting rules for either monetary or fiscal policy that include a concern for stabilization of the output gap. In solving the indeterminacy problem, flexible inflation targeting appears to be more robust than flexible debt targeting to alternative parameter configurations and steady-state fiscal stances. Conversely, flexible fiscal targeting rules lead to more desirable welfare outcomes. The paper further shows that if considerations beyond stabilization call for a combination of strict inflation and debt targeting rules, the indeterminacy result can be overturned if the fiscal authority commits to holding constant debt net of interest rate spending.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 339.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:339
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  1. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2010. "How far are we from the slippery slope? The Laffer curve revisited," Working Paper Series 1174, European Central Bank.
  4. Ferrero, Andrea, 2005. "Fiscal and monetary rules for a currency union," Working Paper Series 0502, European Central Bank.
  5. Benhabib, Jess & Eusepi, Stefano, 2005. "The design of monetary and fiscal policy: A global perspective," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 40-73, July.
  6. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-11, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 06 Apr 2005.
  7. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy: a linear-quadratic approach," Working Paper Series 0345, European Central Bank.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  11. Trabandt, Mathias & Uhlig, Harald, 2011. "The Laffer curve revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 305-327.
  12. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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