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Indeterminacy, Bubbles, and the Fiscal Theory of Price Level Determination

  • Bennett T. McCallum

The recently-developed fiscal theory of price level determination contends that there is an important class of policy rules in which there exists a unique rational expectations solution that shows the price level to be dependent upon fiscal policy and independent of monetary variables. The present paper argues, however, that there is an alternative solution to these models that has entirely traditional (or monetarist') properties. This latter solution is perhaps the more plausible since it is the solution that is typically regarded as the bubble-free fundamentals' solution. The argument involves a respecification of feasible instrument variables.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6456.

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Date of creation: Mar 1998
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, Vol. 47, no. 1 (February 2001): 19-30
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6456
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 1998. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," NBER Working Papers 6471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bennett T. McCallum, 1982. "Price Level Determinacy with an Interest Rate Policy Rule and Rational Expectations," NBER Working Papers 0559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Woodford, 1995. "Price Level Determinacy Without Control of a Monetary Aggregate," NBER Working Papers 5204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Michael Woodford, 1992. "The Optimum Quantity of Money Revisited," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2035, David K. Levine.
  5. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1981. "Speculative hyperinflations in a maximizing models: can we rule them out?," International Finance Discussion Papers 195, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
  7. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Canzoneri, Matthew B & Henderson, Dale W & Rogoff, Kenneth S, 1983. "The Information Content of the Interest Rate and Optimal Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 545-66, November.
  9. Buiter, Willem H., 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," CEPR Discussion Papers 1799, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1986. "Some Issues Concerning Interest Rate Pegging, Price Level Determinacy, and the Real Bills Doctrine," NBER Working Papers 1294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims, 1994. "Toward a Modern Macroeconomic Model Usable for Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  13. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1973. "The Stability of Models of Money and Growth with Perfect Foresight," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1043-48, November.
  14. Sims, Christopher A., 1998. "Econometric implications of the government budget constraint," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 9-19.
  15. Bennett McCallum, 1999. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion in Rational Expectations Models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 621-639, November.
  16. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1067-1152 Elsevier.
  17. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-70, August.
  18. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "The Fallacy of the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 7302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Bennett T. McCallum, 1981. "On Non-Uniqueness in Rational Expectations Models: An Attempt at Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Black, Fischer, 1974. "Uniqueness of the price level in monetary growth models with rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-65, January.
  21. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
  22. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  23. Taylor, John B, 1977. "Conditions for Unique Solutions in Stochastic Macroeconomic Models with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(6), pages 1377-85, September.
  24. 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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