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Tight Money and the Sustainability of Public Debt

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  • Sergey E. Pekarski

    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

Abstract

In the celebrated paper “Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic”, Sargent and Wallace (1981) showed that tight monetary policy is not feasible unless it is supported by appropriate fiscal adjustment. In this paper, we explore a simple forward-looking monetary model to show that an anticipated decrease in the growth rate of base money is not necessarily characterized by “unpleasant arithmetic”. This is due to a possible transitory gain in seigniorage, which keeps public debt on a sustainable path. High interest rates worsen the fiscal stance, but actually support the feasibility of anticipated tighter monetary policy. Thus an increase in the present discounted value of budget deficits does not necessarily have inflationary consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Sergey E. Pekarski, 2015. "Tight Money and the Sustainability of Public Debt," HSE Working papers WP BRP 95/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:95/ec/2015
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    public debt sustainability; tight money paradox; unpleasant monetarist arithmetic;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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