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Dynamic Rawlsian Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Ellison
  • Charles Brendon
  • Martin Ellison

Abstract

A well-known time-inconsistency problem hinders optimal decision-making when policymakers are constrained in their pesent choices by expectations of future outcomes. The time-inconsistency problem is caused by differences in the preferences of policymakers who exist at different points in time. Adapting the arguments of Rawls (1971), we propose that these differences can be eliminated if policy is set from behind a 'veil of ignorance', without knowledge of when the policy will be implemented. We set up a well-defined choice problem that captures this normative perspective. The policies that it generates have a number of appealing properties.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ellison & Charles Brendon & Martin Ellison, 2012. "Dynamic Rawlsian Policy," Economics Series Working Papers 595, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:595
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/5726/paper595.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Damjanovic, Tatiana & Damjanovic, Vladislav & Nolan, Charles, 2008. "Unconditionally optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 491-500, April.
    2. Andrew P. Blake & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2012. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in LQ RE Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1309-1339.
    3. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David & Li, Deyuan & Li, Hongyi & Resnick, Sidney & de Vries, Casper G., 2016. "The impact of competition on prices with numerous firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 1-24.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan & Kevin K. Tsui, 2016. "The Upside-down Economics of Regulated and Otherwise Rigid Prices," NBER Working Papers 22305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bennett, John & Chioveanu, Ioana, 2016. "Pro-Consumer Price Ceilings under Regulatory Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 72161, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aart Gerritsen, 2016. "How Many Harberger Triangles Does it Take to Fill one Okun Gap?," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-05, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconomic policy; Rawls; Time inconsistency; Veil of ignorance;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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