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Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution

This paper demonstrates how time consistency of the Ramsey policy–the optimal fiscal and monetary policy under commitment–can be achieved. Each government should leave its successor with a unique maturity structure for the nominal and indexed debt, such that the marginal benefit of a surprise inflation exactly balances the marginal cost. Unlike in earlier papers on the topic, the result holds for quite a general Ramsey policy, including time varying polices with positive inflation and positive nominal interest rates. We compare our results with those in Persson, Persson, and Svensson (1987), Calvo and Obstfeld (1990), and Alvarez, Kehoe, and Neumeyer (2004).

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 734.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0734
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/

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  1. Persson, M & Persson, T & Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Debt, Cash Flow and Inflation Incentives : A Swedish Example," Papers 613, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "More on the time consistency of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 333-350, April.
  3. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1987. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1419-31, November.
  4. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B, 1986. "Inflation and Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 585-605, May.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  6. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fernando Alvarez & Pat Kehoe, 2003. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Department of Economics Working Papers 005, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  7. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Neumeyer, 2002. "The time consistency of monetary and fiscal policies," Working Papers 616, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Angus Deaton, 1979. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Working Papers 506, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Persson, Mats & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 2005. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4941, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E. O., 1984. "Time-consistent fiscal policy and government cash-flow," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, November.
  11. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1245-47, September.
  14. Pedro Teles, 2003. "The optimal price of money," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 29-39.
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