IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/12158.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes

Author

Listed:
  • Pierpaolo Benigno
  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

Standard discussions of flexible inflation targeting as an optimal monetary policy abstract completely from the consequences of monetary policy for the government budget. But at least some of the countries now adopting inflation targeting have substantial difficulty in controlling fiscal imbalances, so that the additional strains resulting from strict control of inflation are of substantial concern, and some (notably Sims 2005) have argued that inflation targeting can even be counterproductive under some fiscal regimes. Here, therefore, we analyze welfare-maximizing monetary policy taking explicit account of the consequences of monetary policy for the government budget, and under a variety of assumptions about the nature of the fiscal regime. The paper contrasts the optimal monetary policies under three alternative assumptions about fiscal policy: (i) the case in which little distortion is required to raise additional government revenue, and the fiscal authority can be relied upon to ensure intertemporal government solvency [the implicit assumption in standard analyses]; (ii) the case in which only distorting sources of revenue exist, but distorting taxes are adjusted optimally; and (iii) the case in which tax rates cannot be expected to change in response to a change in monetary policy [the problematic case emphasized by Sims]. In both of cases (ii) and (iii), it is optimal for monetary policy to allow the inflation rate to respond to fiscal developments (and the optimal responses to other shocks are somewhat different than in the classic analysis, which assumes case (I)). Nonetheless, optimal monetary policy can still be implemented through a form of flexible inflation targeting, and it remains critical, even in the most pessimistic case (case (iii)), that inflation expectations (beyond some very short horizon) not be allowed to vary in response to shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes," NBER Working Papers 12158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12158
    Note: EFG IFM ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12158.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
    2. Arminio Fraga & Ilan Goldfajn & André Minella, 2004. "Inflation Targeting in Emerging Market Economies," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 365-416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745, Elsevier.
    6. Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2007. "Does Inflation Targeting Make a Difference?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.),Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 9, pages 291-372, Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Andrew T. Levin & Andrew N. Marder & Eric T. Swanson, 2007. "Inflation Targeting and the Anchoring of Inflation Expectations in the Western Hemisphere," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.),Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 11, pages 415-465, Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    11. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x.
    12. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: II. Applications," NBER Working Papers 9420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
    14. Nicoletta Batini & Douglas Laxton, 2007. "Under What Conditions Can Inflation Targeting Be Adopted? The Experience of Emerging Markets," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.),Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 12, pages 467-506, Central Bank of Chile.
    15. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2007. "Optimal inflation Targeting: Further Developments of Inflation Targeting," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.),Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 6, pages 187-225, Central Bank of Chile.
    16. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-971, October.
    17. Buera, Francisco & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2004. "Optimal maturity of government debt without state contingent bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 531-554, April.
    18. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
    19. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    20. King, Mervyn, 1997. "Changes in UK monetary policy: Rules and discretion in practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-97, June.
    21. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern97-1, January-J.
    22. Levin, Andrew T. & Piger, Jeremy M. & Natalucci, Fabio M., 2004. "Explicit inflation objectives and macroeconomic outcomes," Working Paper Series 383, European Central Bank.
    23. George-Marios Angeletos, 2002. "Fiscal Policy with Noncontingent Debt and the Optimal Maturity Structure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1105-1131.
    24. Julio J. 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.
    25. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    26. Sims, Christopher A, 2001. "Fiscal Consequences for Mexico of Adopting the Dollar," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(2), pages 597-616, May.
    27. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, January-J.
    28. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
    29. Jaime Ruiz-Tagle, 2006. "Financial Markets Incompleteness and Inequality Over the Life-Cycle," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 405, Central Bank of Chile.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2004. "Prudent Monetary Policy: Applications of Cautious LQG Control and Prediction," CEPR Discussion Papers 4222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. Kosuke Aoki & Kalin Nikolov, 2006. "Rule-Based Monetary Policy under Central Bank Learning," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 145-195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Levin, Andrew T. & Williams, John C., 2003. "Robust monetary policy with competing reference models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 945-975, July.
    6. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2009. "Prudent monetary policy and prediction of the output gap," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 217-230, June.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    8. Huang, Kevin X.D. & Meng, Qinglai & Xue, Jianpo, 2009. "Is forward-looking inflation targeting destabilizing? The role of policy's response to current output under endogenous investment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 409-430, February.
    9. Svensson, Lars E.O., 2010. "Inflation Targeting," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1237-1302, Elsevier.
    10. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Prudent Monetary Policy and Cautious Prediction of the Output Gap," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/40, European University Institute.
    11. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
    12. Michael Woodford, 2012. "Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy - Policy Rules in Practice," Book Chapters, in: Evan F. Koenig & Robert Leeson & George A. Kahn (ed.), The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy, chapter 9, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    13. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Aoki, Kosuke & Nikolov, Kalin, 2005. "Rule-Based Monetary Policy Under Central Banking Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 5056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Michael Paetz, 2007. "Robust Control and Persistence in the New Keynesian Economy," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20711, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    16. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
    18. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
    19. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Giannoni, Marc P. & Woodford, Michael, 2017. "Optimal target criteria for stabilization policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 55-106.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • 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

    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:nbr:nberwo:12158. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.