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Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences

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  • Bennett T. McCallum
  • Edward Nelson

Abstract

The fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) has attracted much attention but disagreement remains concerning its defining characteristics. Some writers have emphasized implications regarding interest-rate pegging and determinacy of RE solutions, whereas others have stressed its capacity to generate equilibria in which price level trajectories mimic those of bonds and differ drastically from those of money supplies. We argue that the FTPL attained prominence precisely because it appeared to provide a theory whose implications differ greatly from conventional monetary analysis; accordingly we review monetarist writings to identify the primary distinctions. In addition, we review recent findings concerning learnability %u2013 and therefore plausibility %u2013 of competing RE equilibria. These indicate that when FTPL and monetarist equilibria differ, the latter are more plausible in the vast majority of cases. Under Ricardian assumptions, necessary for clear distinctions, theoretical analysis indicates that fiscal and monetary coordination is not necessary for macroeconomic stability.

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  • Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2006. "Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences," NBER Working Papers 12089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12089 Note: EFG ME
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmidt, André, 2014. "Elemente einer Fiskalverfassung für die Eurozone," Beiträge zur Jahrestagung 2014 (Goettingen) 107394, Verein für Socialpolitik, Ausschuss für Wirtschaftssysteme und Institutionenökonomik.
    2. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 2010. "Money and Inflation: Some Critical Issues," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 97-153 Elsevier.
    3. Dumitriu, Ramona & Stefanescu, Razvan, 2013. "Provocările politicii monetare
      [Monetary policy challenges]
      ," MPRA Paper 50261, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Sep 2013.
    4. António Afonso & João Tovar Jalles, 2017. "The Price Relevance of Fiscal Developments," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 36-50, January.
    5. Bajo-Rubio, Oscar & Díaz-Roldán, Carmen & Esteve, Vicente, 2009. "Deficit sustainability and inflation in EMU: An analysis from the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 525-539, December.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 2010. "Money and Inflation: Some Critical Issues," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 3, pages 97-153 Elsevier.
    7. Emanuel Gasteiger, 2013. "Do heterogeneous expectations constitute a challenge for policy interaction?," Working Papers Series 2 13-02, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
    8. Mihailov, Alexander & Ullrich, Katrin, 2007. "Independence and Accountability of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Committees," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-044, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Fan, Jingwen & Minford, Patrick, 2009. "Can the Fiscal Theory of the price level explain UK inflation in the 1970s?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/26, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section, revised Mar 2011.
    10. Pedro Gomis-Porqueras & Solmaz Moslehi & Vivianne Vilar, 2013. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level When All Income is Taxed," Monash Economics Working Papers 09-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    11. Nikolai Stähler, 2013. "Recent Developments In Quantitative Models Of Sovereign Default," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 605-633, September.
    12. Canzoneri, Matthew & Cumby, Robert & Diba, Behzad, 2010. "The Interaction Between Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 17, pages 935-999 Elsevier.
    13. Petia Ivanova, 2007. "The Fiscal Theory for the Cost Level and Monetarism," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 60-79.
    14. Schmidt, André, 2011. "Fiskalische Stabilität in einer Währungsunion," Wittener Diskussionspapiere zu alten und neuen Fragen der Wirtschaftswissenschaft 13/2011, Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty of Management and Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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