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Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge

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  • Stefano Eusepi
  • Bruce Preston

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.

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  • Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 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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    2. Leeper, Eric M. & Leith, Campbell & Liu, Ding, 2021. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary, Fiscal and Debt Maturity Policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 600-617.
    3. Han, Zhao, 2021. "Low-frequency fiscal uncertainty," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 639-657.
    4. Vázquez, Jesús & Aguilar, Pablo, 2021. "Adaptive learning with term structure information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    5. Tsiaplias, Sarantis, 2020. "Time-Varying Consumer Disagreement and Future Inflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    6. Pedro Gomis‐Porqueras, 2020. "Fiscal Requirements for Dynamic and Real Determinacies in Economies with Private Provision of Liquidity: A Monetarist Assessment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(1), pages 229-267, February.
    7. Saroj Dhital & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras & Joseph H. Haslag, 2020. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in a Frictional Model of Money, Nominal Public Debt and Banking," Working Papers 2002, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    8. 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.
    9. Eric M. Leeper, 2016. "Should Central Banks Care About Fiscal Rules?," NBER Working Papers 22800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Leeper, E.M. & Leith, C., 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary–Fiscal Phenomenon," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2305-2415, Elsevier.
    11. Javier García-Cicco, 2021. "Alternative Monetary-Policy Instruments and Limited Credibility: An Exploration," BCRA Working Paper Series 202191, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    12. John Cochrane, . "A fiscal theory of monetary policy with partially repaid long-term debt," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. 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.
    14. Monica Laura Zlati & Valentin Marian Antohi & Romeo Victor Ionescu, 2019. "Approaches on the Vulnerability of Romania's Economy in Terms of Budget Deficit and Inflation in a Continuous Form," Risk in Contemporary Economy, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, pages 128-137.
    15. 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.
    16. Snezana Eminidou & Martin Geiger & Marios Zachariadis, 2021. "Public Debt and state-dependent Effects of Fiscal Policy in the Euro Area," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 03-2021, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    17. Marine Charlotte André & Meixing Dai, 2018. "The limits to robust monetary policy in a small open economy with learning agents," Working Papers of BETA 2018-45, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    18. Michael Woodford, 2013. "Macroeconomic Analysis Without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 303-346, May.
    19. Eric M. Leeper & Xuan Zhou, 2013. "Inflation's Role in Optimal Monetary-Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 19686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    debt management policy; maturity structure; monetary policy; expectations stabilization; Great Moderation;
    All these keywords.

    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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