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Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge

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  • Eusepi, Stefano
  • Preston, Bruce

    () (Monash University)

Abstract

This paper proposes a theory of the fiscal foundations of inflation based on imperfect knowledge and learning. The theory is similar in spirit to, but distinct from, unpleasant monetarist arithmetic and the fiscal theory of the price level. Because the assumption of imperfect knowledge breaks Ricardian equivalence, details of fiscal policy, such as the average scale and composition of the public debt, matter for inflation. As a result, fiscal policy constrains the efficacy of monetary policy. Heavily indebted economies with debt maturity structures observed in many countries require aggressive monetary policy to anchor inflation expectations. The model predicts that the Great Moderation period would not have been so moderate had fiscal policy been characterized by a scale and composition of public debt now witnessed in some advanced economies in the aftermath of the 2007-09 global recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2013. "Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge," Staff Reports 649, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:649
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Eric M Leeper & Campbell Leith & Ding Liu, 2016. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary, Fiscal and Debt Maturity Policy," Working Papers 2016_04, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    3. Begona Dominguez & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras, 2019. "The effects of secondary markets for government bonds on inflation dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 249-273, April.
    4. Eric M. Leeper, 2016. "Should Central Banks Care About Fiscal Rules?," NBER Working Papers 22800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:eee:macchp:v2-2305 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Martin Geiger & Marios Zachariadis, 2019. "Assessing Expectations as a Monetary/Fiscal State-Dependent Phenomenon," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 01-2019, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    8. Michael Woodford, 2013. "Macroeconomic Analysis Without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 303-346, May.
    9. Eric M. Leeper & Xuan Zhou, 2013. "Inflation's Role in Optimal Monetary-Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 19686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt management policy; maturity structure; monetary policy; expectations stabilization; Great Moderation;

    JEL classification:

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

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