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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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  14. 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.
  15. David E. Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2004. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities, and the business cycle," Working Paper 0416, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  16. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Imperfect Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  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. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  20. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2005. "Optimal Inflation Stabilization in a Medium-Scale Macroeonomic Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  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.
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  28. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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  30. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
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