IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Monetary Science, Fiscal Alchemy

  • Eric M. Leeper

Monetary policy decisions tend to be based on systematic analysis of alternative policy choices and their associated macroeconomic impacts: this is science. Fiscal policy choices, in contrast, spring from unsystematic speculation, grounded more in politics than economics: this is alchemy. In normal times, fiscal alchemy poses no insurmountable problems for monetary policy because fiscal expectations can be extrapolated from past fiscal behavior. But normal times may be coming to an end: aging populations are causing promised government old-age benefits to grow relentlessly and many governments have no plans for financing the benefits. In this era of fiscal stress, fiscal expectations are unanchored and fiscal alchemy creates unnecessary uncertainty and can undermine the ability of monetary policy to control inflation and influence real economic activity in the usual ways.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16510.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16510.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Monetary science, fiscal alchemy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 361-434.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16510
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Mountford, Andrew & Uhlig, Harald, 2002. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. António Afonso & Davide Furceri, 2008. "Government Size, Composition, Volatility and Economic Growth," Working Papers Department of Economics 2008/04, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Rauh, Joshua D., 2010. "Are State Public Pensions Sustainable? Why The Federal Government Should Worry About State Pension Liabilities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(3), pages 585-601, September.
  4. Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Anchoring Fiscal Expectations," Caepr Working Papers 2009-015, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2009. "Monetary-fiscal policy interactions and fiscal stimulus," Research Working Paper RWP 09-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  6. John Cogan & Tobias Cwik & John Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2009. "New Keynesian Versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers," Discussion Papers 08-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Eric M. Leeper & Michael Plante & Nora Traum, 2009. "Dynamics Of Fiscal Financing In The United States," Caepr Working Papers 2009-012, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  8. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker, 2010. ""Unfunded Liabilities" and Uncertain Fiscal Financing," NBER Working Papers 15782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
  10. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  11. Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2009. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction: The Current Consensus Assignment in the Light of Recent Developments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(541), pages F482-F496, November.
  12. Aiyagari, S. Rao & McGrattan, Ellen R., 1998. "The optimum quantity of debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 447-469, October.
  13. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  14. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Todd Walker & Eric Leeper & Troy Davig, 2010. "Inflation and the Fiscal Limit," 2010 Meeting Papers 837, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Todd B. Walker & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Government Investment and Fiscal Stimulus," IMF Working Papers 10/229, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, 07.
  19. Mathias Trabandt & Harald Uhlig, 2006. "How Far Are We From The Slippery Slope? The Laffer Curve Revisited," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  20. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 14630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Monacelli, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Wealth Effects and Markups," CEPR Discussion Papers 7099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  23. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  24. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal monetary and fiscal policy: a linear-quadratic approach," International Finance Discussion Papers 806, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ralph C. Bryant & Long Zhang, 1996. "Alternative Specifications of Intertemporal Fiscal Policy in a Small Theoretical Model," Discussion Papers 124, Brookings Institution International Economics.
  27. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization Of The Dynamic Effects Of Changes In Government Spending And Taxes On Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368, November.
  28. Marco Bassetto, 2006. "Fiscal policy and price stability: the case of Italy, 1992–98," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Dec.
  29. James Bullard, 2010. "Seven faces of "the peril"," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 339-352.
  30. Michael Kumhof & Dirk Muir & Carlos de Resende & Jan in ‘t Veld & René Lalonde & Davide Furceri & Annabelle Mourougane & John Roberts & Stephen Snudden & Mathias Trabandt & Günter Coenen & Susanna, 2010. "Effects of Fiscal Stimulus in Structural Models," IMF Working Papers 10/73, International Monetary Fund.
  31. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2010. "Debt, Policy Uncertainty and Expectations Stabilization," CAMA Working Papers 2010-20, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  32. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric Leeper, 2004. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 325, Society for Computational Economics.
  33. Bertola, Giuseppe & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Trigger Points and Budget Cuts: Explaining the Effects of Fiscal Austerity," CEPR Discussion Papers 599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  34. Cochrane, John H., 2005. "Money as stock," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 501-528, April.
  35. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
  36. 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.
  37. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
  38. Huixin Bi & Eric M. Leeper, 2010. "Sovereign Debt Risk Premia and Fiscal Policy in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 15810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16510. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.