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Optimal Inflation Targeting under Alternative Fiscal Regimes

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  • 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
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    Cited by:

    1. Jalali Naini, Ahmad Reza & Naderian, Mohammad Amin, 2017. "Oil Price Cycles, Fiscal Dominance and Counter-cyclical Monetary Policy in Iran," MPRA Paper 84480, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields And Methods From Past To Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 769-800, September.
    3. Reicher, Christopher Phillip, 2009. "Fiscal Taylor rules in the postwar United States," Kiel Working Papers 1509, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Forni, Lorenzo & Monteforte, Libero & Sessa, Luca, 2009. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: Estimates for the Euro area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 559-585, April.
    5. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2009. "Are valuation effects desirable from a global perspective?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 170-180, July.
    6. Michael Kumhof & Ricardo Nunes & Irina Yakadina, 2010. "Simple Monetary Rules under Fiscal Dominance," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 63-92, February.
    7. Woodford, Michael, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 14, pages 723-828 Elsevier.
    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. Javier Guillermo Gómez, 2006. "Capital Flows and Monetary Policy," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002097, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    10. Ito, Arata & Watanabe, Tsutomu & Yabu, Tomoyoshi, 2011. "Fiscal policy switching in Japan, the US, and the UK," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 380-413.
    11. Vasco Curdia, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Sudden Stops," 2008 Meeting Papers 474, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Danciulescu, Cristina, 2014. "Macroeconomic equilibrium and welfare under simple monetary and switching fiscal policy rules," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 58-68.
    13. 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.
    14. Moinuddin, 2007. "Choice of Monetary Policy Regime: Should SBP Adopt Inflation Targeting," SBP Working Paper Series 19, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department.
    15. Svan Jari Stehn & David Vines, 2007. "Debt Stabilisation Bias And The Taylor Principle: Optimal Policy In A New Keynesian Model With Government Debt And Inflation Persistence," CAMA Working Papers 2007-22, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    16. Mauro Ferreira, "undated". "Debt Maturity in a Small Open Economy Under Inflation Target," EcoMod2007 23900024, EcoMod.
    17. Christopher Adam & Stephen O'Connell & Edward Buffie, 2008. "Aid volatility, monetary policy rules and the capital account in African economies," WEF Working Papers 0037, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
    18. Woodford, Michael, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 14, pages 723-828 Elsevier.
    19. David A Vines & Sven Jari Stehn, 2007. "Debt Stabilization Bias and the Taylor Principle; Optimal Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Government Debt and Inflation Persistence," IMF Working Papers 07/206, International Monetary Fund.
    20. repec:sbe:breart:v:27:y:2007:i:1:a:1573 is not listed on IDEAS

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    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

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