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When is monetary policy all we need?

  • Fabian Eser
  • Campbell Leith
  • Simon Wren-Lewis

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.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2009_18.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2009_18
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  1. Gali­, Jordi & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2008. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a currency union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 116-132, September.
  2. Leith, Campbell & Malley, Jim, 2005. "Estimated general equilibrium models for the evaluation of monetary policy in the US and Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2137-2159, November.
  3. Kevin D. Sheedy, 2007. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0840, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Morten O. Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2004. "Deep Habits," 2004 Meeting Papers 208, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Tatiana Kirsanova & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2006. " Optimal Fiscal Feedback on Debt in an Economy with Nominal Rigidities," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0609, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  6. Stehn, Sven Jari & Vines, David, 2008. "Debt Stabilisation Bias and the Taylor Principle: Optimal Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Government Debt and Inflation Persistence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 2942, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2012. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-84, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  9. Fabian Eser, 2009. "Optimal Fiscal Stabilisation through Government Spending," Economics Series Working Papers 2009-W14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4334, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Gianluca Benigno & Bianca De Paoli, 2009. "On the International Dimension of Fiscal Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0905, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Jordi Gal� & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
  14. Campbell leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, . "Compatibility Between Monetary and Fiscal Policy Under EMU," Working Papers 2001_15, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  15. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  16. Jordi Galí, 2007. "Constant interest rate projections without the curse of indeterminacy," Economics Working Papers 1057, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2008.
  17. Pontiggia, Dario, 2007. "Inflation persistence and optimal positive long-run inflation," MPRA Paper 3274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Kirsanova, Tatiana & Satchi, Mathan & Vines, David & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal Policy Rules in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 5533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
  20. Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2006. "Should Central Banks Target Consumer Prices or the Exchange Rate?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(512), pages F208-F231, 06.
  21. Sven Jari Stehn & David Vines, 2008. "Strategic Interactions Between An Independent Central Bank and a Myopic Government with Government Debt," IMF Working Papers 08/164, International Monetary Fund.
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