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The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in Overlapping Generations Models

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  • Roger Farmer
  • Pawel Zabczyk

Abstract

We demonstrate that the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level (FTPL) cannot be used to determine the price level uniquely in the overlapping generations (OLG) model. We provide two examples of OLG models, one with three 3-period lives and one with 62-period lives. Both examples are calibrated to an income profile chosen to match the life-cycle earnings process in U.S. data estimated by Guvenen et al. (2015). In both examples, there exist multiple steady-state equilibria. Our findings challenge established views about what constitutes a good combination of fiscal and monetary policies. As long as the primary deficit or the primary surplus is not too large, the fiscal authority can conduct policies that are unresponsive to endogenous changes in the level of its outstanding debt. Monetary and fiscal policy can both be active at the same time.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Farmer & Pawel Zabczyk, 2019. "The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in Overlapping Generations Models," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 498, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:niesrd:498
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
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    3. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Khramov, Vadim & Nicolò, Giovanni, 2015. "Solving and estimating indeterminate DSGE models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 17-36.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 565-583, Winter.
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    6. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
    8. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Jacob A. Robbins, 2019. "A Model of Secular Stagnation: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-48, January.
    9. Rao Aiyagari, S., 1985. "Observational equivalence of the overlapping generations and the discounted dynamic programming frameworks for one-sector growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 201-221, August.
    10. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, May.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level in Overlapping Generations Models
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-02-06 01:13:47

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    Cited by:

    1. Farmer, Roger E A, 2019. "The Indeterminacy School in Macroeconomics," CEPR Discussion Papers 13745, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Barthelemy, Jean & Mengus, Eric & Plantin, Guillaume, 2019. "Public Liquidity Demand and Central Bank Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 14160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Roger E A Farmer, 2019. "The Indeterminacy Agenda in Macroeconomics," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 507, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus

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