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An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy

  • N. Gregory Mankiw
  • Matthew C. Weinzierl

This paper examines the optimal response of monetary and fiscal policy to a decline in aggregate demand. The theoretical framework is a two-period general equilibrium model in which prices are sticky in the short run and flexible in the long run. Policy is evaluated by how well it raises the welfare of the representative household. While the model has Keynesian features, its policy prescriptions differ significantly from textbook Keynesian analysis. Moreover, the model suggests that the commonly used "bang for the buck" calculations are potentially misleading guides for the welfare effects of alternative fiscal policies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17029.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17029.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew weinzierl, 2011. "An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 209-272.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17029
Note: ME
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  1. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Simple Analytics of the Government Expenditure Multiplier," Discussion Papers 0910-09, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  3. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
  4. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
  5. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  6. Isabel Horta Correia & Emmanuel Farhi & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2011. "Unconventional Fiscal Policy at the Zero Bound," Working Papers w201103, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  7. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  8. James Tobin, 1977. "How Dead is Keynes?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 458, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Gauti Eggertsson, 2010. "The paradox of toil," Staff Reports 433, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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