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Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules: Expanded Version

  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
  • Martín Uribe

This paper computes welfare-maximizing monetary and fiscal policy rules in a real business cycle model augmented with sticky prices, a demand for money, taxation, and stochastic government consumption. We consider simple feedback rules whereby the nominal interest rate is set as a function of output and inflation, and taxes are set as a function of total government liabilities. We implement a second-order accurate solution to the model. Our main findings are: First, the size of the inflation coefficient in the interest-rate rule plays a minor role for welfare. It matters only insofar as it affects the determinacy of equilibrium. Second, optimal monetary policy features a muted response to output. More importantly, interest rate rules that feature a positive response to output can lead to significant welfare losses. Third, the welfare gains from interest-rate smoothing are negligible. Fourth, optimal fiscal policy is passive. Finally, the optimal monetary and fiscal rule combination attains virtually the same level of welfare as the Ramsey optimal policy.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12402.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
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Publication status: published as Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12402
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  1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  6. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Optimal Operational Monetary Policy in the Christiano-Eichenbaum-Evans Model of the U.S. Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 10724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Altig, David E & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Stabilization policy and the costs of dollarization," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 482-517.
  11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Imperfect Competition," Departmental Working Papers 200101, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  12. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "A small, structural, quarterly model for monetary policy evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 83-108, December.
  13. Robert Kollmann, 2004. "Welfare Maximizing Monetary and Fiscal Policy Rules," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 102, Society for Computational Economics.
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  17. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2005. "Optimal Inflation Stabilization in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," NBER Working Papers 11854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Julio 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.
  19. Favero, Carlo A. & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2003. "Monetary-Fiscal Mix and Inflation Performance: Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 3887, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Dupor, Bill, 2001. "Investment and Interest Rate Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 85-113, May.
  21. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
  22. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Carlstrom, Charles T. & Fuerst, Timothy S., 2005. "Investment and interest rate policy: a discrete time analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 4-20, July.
  25. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Lutz Weinke & Tommy Sveen, 2003. "Inflation and output dynamics with firm-owned capital," Economics Working Papers 702, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  28. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  29. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  30. Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "Scale Economies, the Value of Time, and the Demand for Money: Longitudinal Evidence from Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1061-79, October.
  31. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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  34. 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.
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