Tariff and Equilibrium Indeterminacy
We study the effect of tariffs in a one-sector small open economy that imports oil. We find that (1) the model may exhibit local indeterminacy and sunspots when tariff rates are endogenously determined by a balanced-budget rule with a constant level of government expenditures (or lump-sum tansfers); and (2) indeterminacy disappears if the government finances endogenous public spending and transfers with fixed tariff rates. Under the first type of balanced budget formulation, we provide numerical (calibration) examples to illustate that the government shouldn't distort the oil price paid by firms with tariffs in order to avoid aggregate instability. Under the second type of balanced budget formulation, we prove that the economy exhibits equilibrium uniqueness, regardless of the existence of lump-sum transfers.
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