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When is monetary policy all we need?

Author

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  • Fabian Eser
  • Campbell Leith
  • Simon Wren-Lewis

Abstract

We consider optimal monetary and fiscal policies in a New Keynesian model of a small open economy with sticky prices and wages. In this benchmark setting monetary policy is all we need - analytical results demonstrate that variations in government spending should play no role in the stabilization of shocks. In extensions we show, firstly, that this is even when true when allowing for inflation inertia through backward-looking rule-of-thumb price and wage-setting, as long as there is no discrepancy between the private and social evaluation of the marginal rate of substitution between consumption and leisure. Secondly, the optimal neutrality of government spending is robust to the issuance of public debt. In the presence of debt government spending will deviate from the optimal steady-state but only to the extent required to cover the deficit, not to provide any additional macroeconomic stabilization. However, unlike government spending variations in tax rates can play a complementary role to monetary policy, as they change relative prices rather than demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabian Eser & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2009. "When is monetary policy all we need?," Working Papers 2009_18, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2009_18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

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    1. Is it a sin for the central bank to help reduce debt?
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      by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2018-08-15 08:47:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Bai, Yuting & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Leith, Campbell, 2017. "Nominal targeting in an economy with government debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 103-125.
    2. Duncan, Alfred J. M. & Nolan, Charles, 2019. "Disputes, debt and equity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(3), September.
    3. Simon Wren-Lewis, 2011. "Comparing the delegation of monetary and fiscal policy," Economics Series Working Papers 540, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Anchoring fiscal expectations," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 72, pages 17-42, September.
    5. Chen, Xiaoshan & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Leith, Campbell, 2014. "An Empirical Assessment of Optimal Monetary Policy Delegation in the Euro Area," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-04, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Chen, Xiaoshan & Leeper, Eric M. & Leith, Campbell, 2015. "US Monetary and Fiscal Policies - Conflict or Cooperation?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-77, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. Leith, Campbell & Moldovan, Ioana & Rossi, Raffaele, 2015. "Monetary and fiscal policy under deep habits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 55-74.
    8. Sebastian Schmidt, 2013. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(7), pages 1335-1350, October.
    9. Chen, Xiaoshan & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Leith, Campbell, 2014. "An Empirical Assessment of Optimal Monetary Policy Delegation in the Euro Area," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-04, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    10. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2011. "Discretionary policy in a monetary union with sovereign debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 93-117, January.
    11. Chen, Xiaoshan & Leeper, Eric M. & Leith, Campbell, 2015. "US Monetary and Fiscal Policies - Conflict or Cooperation?," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-77, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Chen, Xiaoshan & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Leith, Campbell, 2017. "How optimal is US monetary policy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 96-111.
    13. Stefano Gnocchi, 2013. "Monetary Commitment and Fiscal Discretion: The Optimal Policy Mix," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 187-216, April.
    14. Luk, Paul & Vines, David, 2015. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in an Economy with Endogenous Public Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 10580, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Luk, Paul & Vines, David, 2015. "The Optimal Coordination of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a New Keynesian Framework," CEPR Discussion Papers 10895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy; Macroeconomic Stabilization; Dynamic General Equilibrium; Sticky Prices; Sticky wages; Rule-of-Thumb Behaviour; Debt; Countercyclical Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium

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