IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lie/wpaper/46.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Long-Run Inflation and the Informal Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Claudio Cesaroni

    () (Economic Analysis and Research, Sace S.p.A.)

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal long-run rate of inflation in a two-sector model of the Lithuanian economy with informal production and price rigidity in the regular sector. The government issues no debt and is committed to follow a balanced budget rule. The informal sector is unregulated and untaxed and its existence limits the government's ability to collect revenues through fiscal policy. Such environment provides therefore the basis for quantifying the possible existence of a public finance motive for inflation. The main results can be summarized as follows: First, there is a strong heterogeneity in the optimal inflation rate which depends on the tax rate that is endogenously adjusted to keep the budget balanced. Inflation can be as high as 6.77% when the capital tax rate is endogenous, but when labor income taxes are adjusted optimal policy calls for a rate of deflation such that the nominal interest rate hits the zero lower bound. Second, the optimal inflation rate is a non-decreasing function of the size of the informal economy and, in most cases, there is a positive relationship between the two. Finally, substantial deviations from zero inflation are observed even in presence of a plausible degree of price rigidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Cesaroni, 2017. "Optimal Long-Run Inflation and the Informal Economy," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 46, Bank of Lithuania.
  • Handle: RePEc:lie:wpaper:46
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.lb.lt/en/publications/no-46-optimal-long-run-inflation-and-the-informal-economy
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
    2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
    3. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    4. Ester Faia & Tommaso Monacelli, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy with Home Bias," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 721-750, June.
    5. De Gregorio, Jose, 1993. "Inflation, taxation, and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 271-298, June.
    6. Antinolfi, Gaetano & Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James, 2016. "The Optimal Inflation Target In An Economy With Limited Enforcement," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 582-600, March.
    7. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1600-1621, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Alexandre Cunha, 2008. "The optimality of the Friedman rule when some distorting taxes are exogenous," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 35(2), pages 267-291, May.
    10. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2013. "Disinflation effects in a medium-scale New Keynesian model: Money supply rule versus interest rate rule," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 77-100.
    11. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1991. "The welfare costs of moderate inflations," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 483-518.
    12. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2005. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model: Expanded Version," NBER Working Papers 11417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Yuliy Sannikov, 2016. "On the Optimal Inflation Rate," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 484-489, May.
    14. Robert Shimer, 2012. "Reassessing the Ins and Outs of Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 127-148, April.
    15. Arbex, Marcelo & Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2011. "Optimal monetary and audit policy with imperfect taxation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 327-340, June.
    16. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
    17. Arbex, Marcelo, 2013. "A Quantitative Analysis Of Tax Enforcement And Optimal Monetary Policy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(05), pages 1096-1117, July.
    18. Isabel Correia & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Equivalence Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 141-170, February.
    19. Anna Thum-Thysen & Erik Canton, 2015. "Estimation of service sector mark-ups determined by structural reform indicators," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 547, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    20. Miguel Casares, 2004. "Price setting and the steady-state effects of inflation," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 267-289, December.
    21. Andres Fernandez & Felipe Meza, 2015. "Informal Employment and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Case of Mexico," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 381-405, April.
    22. de V. Cavalcanti, Tiago V. & Villamil, Anne P., 2003. "Optimal Inflation Tax And Structural Reform," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 333-362, June.
    23. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    24. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2007. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 728-752, April.
    25. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
    26. Amano, Robert & Moran, Kevin & Murchison, Stephen & Rennison, Andrew, 2009. "Trend inflation, wage and price rigidities, and productivity growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 353-364, April.
    27. Mazhar, Ummad & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2017. "Taxing the unobservable: The impact of the shadow economy on inflation and taxation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 89-103.
    28. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-1175, December.
    29. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    30. Ahiabu, Stephen, 2006. "Inflation and the underground economy," MPRA Paper 763, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2006.
    31. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
    32. Andres Fernandez & Felipe Meza, 2015. "Informal Employment and Business Cycles in Emerging Economies: The Case of Mexico," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(2), pages 381-405, April.
    33. Campolmi, Alessia & Gnocchi, Stefano, 2016. "Labor market participation, unemployment and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 17-29.
    34. Ester Faia, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Credit Augmented Liquidity Cycles," 2008 Meeting Papers 414, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    35. Fagan, Gabriel & Messina, Julián, 2009. "Downward wage rigidity and optimal steady-state inflation," Working Paper Series 1048, European Central Bank.
    36. V. V. Chari & Pedro Teles & Juan Nicolini, 2016. "More on the Optimal Taxation of Capital," 2016 Meeting Papers 1364, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    37. Koreshkova, Tatyana A., 2006. "A quantitative analysis of inflation as a tax on the underground economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 773-796, May.
    38. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-132, March.
    39. Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina, 2014. "Macroeconomic volatility: The role of the informal economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 454-469.
    40. Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2005. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy In A Medium Scale Macro Model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 476, Society for Computational Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Optimal Long-Run Inflation and the Informal Economy
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2017-12-28 05:30:49

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Inflation; Informal Economy; Endogenous Tax Changes;

    JEL classification:

    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lie:wpaper:46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Povilas Lastauskas). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lbanklt.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.