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Debt Stabilization Bias and the Taylor Principle; Optimal Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Government Debt and Inflation Persistence

  • David Vines
  • Sven Jari Stehn

We analyse optimal monetary and fiscal policy in a New-Keynesian model with public debt and inflation persistence. Leith and Wren-Lewis (2007) have shown that optimal discretionary policy is subject to a 'debt stabilization bias' which requires debt to be returned to its pre-shock level. This finding has two important implications for optimal discretionary policy. Firstly, as Leith and Wren-Lewis have shown, optimal monetary policy in an economy with high steady-state debt cuts the interest rate in response to a cost-push shock - and therefore violates the Taylor principle. We show that this striking result is not true with high degrees of inflation persistence. Secondly, we show that optimal fiscal policy is more active under discretion than commitment at all degrees of inflation persistence and all levels of debt.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/206.

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Length: 52
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/206
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  1. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. 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.
  3. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  4. Galí, Jordi & López-Salido, David & Vallés, Javier, 2004. "Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption," Working Paper Series 0339, European Central Bank.
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  7. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward Nelson, 2000. "UK monetary policy 1972-97: a guide using Taylor rules," Bank of England working papers 120, Bank of England.
  9. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  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. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  13. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2006. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model," Working Papers 2006_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Nov 2008.
  14. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  15. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  16. Christopher Allsopp & David Vines, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Role of Fiscal Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-508, Winter.
  17. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  18. Garima Vasishtha & Taimur Baig & Manmohan S. Kumar & Edda Zoli, 2006. "Fiscal and Monetary Nexus in Emerging Market Economies; How Does Debt Matter?," IMF Working Papers 06/184, International Monetary Fund.
  19. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Srobona Mitra, 2007. "Is the Quantity of Government Debt a Constraint for Monetary Policy?," IMF Working Papers 07/62, International Monetary Fund.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521441964 is not listed on IDEAS
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