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When is Monetary Policy All we Need?

  • Simon Wren-Lewis
  • Fabian Eser

We consider optimal monetary and fiscal policies in a New Keynesian model of a small open economy with sticky prices and wages.� In this benchmark setting monetary policy is all we need - analytical results demonstrate that variations in government spending should play no role in the stabilization of shocks.� In extensions we show, firstly, that this is even true when allowing for inflation inertia through backward-looking rule-of-thumb price and wage-setting, as long as there in no discrepancy between the private and social evaluation of the marginal rate of substitution between consumption and leisure.� Secondly, the optimal neutrality of government spending is robust to the issuance of public debt.� In the presence of debt government spending will deviate from the optimal steady-state but only to the extent required to cover the deficit, not to provide any additional macroeconomic stabilization.� However, unlike government spending variations in tax rates can play a complementary role to monetary policy, as they change relative prices rather than demand.

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File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper430.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 430.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:430
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  1. Benigno, Gianluca & De Paoli, Bianca, 2009. "On the International Dimension of Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Optimal Simple and Implementable Monetary and Fiscal Rules," NBER Working Papers 10253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kevin D. Sheedy, 2007. "Robustly optimal monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3737, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
  5. Morten Ravn & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2004. "Deep Habits," NBER Working Papers 10261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Vines & Sven Jari Stehn, 2007. "Debt Stabilization Bias and the Taylor Principle; Optimal Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Government Debt and Inflation Persistence," IMF Working Papers 07/206, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kirsanova, Tatiana & Satchi, Mathan & Vines, David & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2006. "Optimal Fiscal Policy Rules in a Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 5533, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Simon Wren-Lewis & Campbell Leith, 2007. "Fiscal Sustainability in a New Keynesian Model," Economics Series Working Papers 310, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
  11. Stehn, Sven Jari & Vines, David, 2008. "Strategic Interactions between an Independent Central Bank and a Myopic Government with Government Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 6913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Tatiana Kirsanova & Simon Wren‐Lewis, 2012. "Optimal Fiscal Feedback on Debt in an Economy with Nominal Rigidities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 238-264, 03.
  13. Campbell leith & Jim Malley, 2002. "Estimated General Equilibrium Models for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy in the US and Europe," Working Papers 2001_16, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  14. Fabian Eser, 2009. "Optimal Fiscal Stabilisation through Government Spending," Economics Series Working Papers 2009-W14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Jordi Gali & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Currency Union," NBER Working Papers 11815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Leith, Campbell & Wren-Lewis, Simon, 2006. "Compatibility between monetary and fiscal policy under EMU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1529-1556, August.
  17. Jordi Galí, 2007. "Constant interest rate projections without the curse of indeterminacy," Economics Working Papers 1057, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2008.
  18. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  19. Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith & Simon Wren-Lewis, 2006. "Should Central Banks Target Consumer Prices or the Exchange Rate?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(512), pages F208-F231, 06.
  20. Jordi Gal� & Tommaso Monacelli, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Volatility in a Small Open Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 707-734.
  21. Pontiggia, Dario, 2007. "Inflation persistence and optimal positive long-run inflation," MPRA Paper 3274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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