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Learning the fiscal theory of the price level: some consequences of debt management policy

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  • Stefano Eusepi
  • Bruce Preston

Abstract

This paper examines how the scale and composition of public debt can affect economies that implement a combination of “passive” monetary policy and “active” fiscal policy. This policy configuration is argued to be of both historical and contemporary interest in the cases of the U.S. and Japanese economies. It is shown that higher average levels and moderate average maturities of debt can induce macroeconomic instability under a range of policies specified as simple rules. However, interest rate pegs in combination with active fiscal policies almost always ensure macroeconomic stability. This finding suggests that in periods where the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is a relevant constraint on policy design, a switch in fiscal regime is desirable.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2011. "Learning the fiscal theory of the price level: some consequences of debt management policy," Staff Reports 515, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:515
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2007. "Policy Interaction, Learning, And The Fiscal Theory Of Prices," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 665-690, November.
    2. Woodford, Michael, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 669-728, August.
    3. Bruce Preston, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    4. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-1322, December.
    5. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824.
    6. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
    7. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    8. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
    9. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 247-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    11. 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.
    12. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
    13. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
    14. Francesco Bianchi, 2013. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 463-490.
    15. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2010. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 235-271, July.
    16. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, April.
    17. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
    18. Branch, William A. & Davig, Troy & McGough, Bruce, 2013. "Adaptive Learning In Regime-Switching Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(05), pages 998-1022, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2012. "Perceptions and Misperceptions of Fiscal Inflation," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 255-299 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dominguez, Begona & Gomis-Porqueras, Pedro, 2016. "The Effects of Secondary Markets for Government Bonds on Inflation Dynamics," MPRA Paper 82448, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hollmayr, Josef & Matthes, Christian, 2015. "Learning about fiscal policy and the effects of policy uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 142-162.
    4. de Mendonça, Helder Ferreira & Nicolay, Rodolfo Tomás da Fonseca, 2017. "Is communication clarity from fiscal authority useful? Evidence from an emerging economy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 35-51.
    5. Eric M. Leeper, 2013. "Fiscal Limits and Monetary Policy," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(2), pages 33-58.
    6. Helder Ferreira De Mendonça & Rodolfo Tomás Da Fonseca Nicolay, 2018. "Effect Of The Communication And Clarity Of The Fiscal Authority On Market Expectations: Evidence From The Brazilian Economy," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 65, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    7. Dominguez, Begona & Gomis-Porqueras, Pedro, 2016. "The Effects of Secondary Markets and Unsecured Credit on Inflation Dynamics," MPRA Paper 75096, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; Debts; Public ; Fiscal policy ; Interest rates ; Price levels;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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