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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. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
  2. Campbell Leith & Simon Wren‐Lewis, 2013. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(8), pages 1477-1516, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  19. 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.
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  21. Srobona Mitra, 2007. "Is the Quantity of Government Debt a Constraint for Monetary Policy?," IMF Working Papers 07/62, International Monetary Fund.
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