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Nominal Debt as a Burden on Monetary Policy

  • Javier Días-Giménez
  • Giorgia Giovannetti
  • Ramon Marimon
  • Pedro Teles

We characterize the optimal sequential choice of monetary policy in economies with either nominal or indexed debt. In a model where nominal debt is the only source of time inconsistency, the Markov-perfect equilibrium policy implies the progressive depletion of the outstanding stock of debt, until the time inconsistency disappears. There is a resulting welfare loss if debt is nominal rather than indexed. We also analyze the case where monetary policy is time inconsistent even when debt is indexed. In this case, with nominal debt, the sequential optimal policy converges to a time-consistent steady state with positive - or negative - debt, depending on the value of the intertemporal elasticity of substitution. Welfare can be higher if debt is nominal rather than indexed and the level of debt is not too high.

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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200606.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200606
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  1. Javier Díaz-Giménez & Giorgia Giovannetti & Ramon Marimon & Pedro Teles, 2004. "Nominal debt as a burden on monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-04-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Marimon, Ramon & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2003. "Inside-outside money competition," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1701-1718, November.
  3. Persson , Mats & Persson , Torsten & Svensson, Lars E.O., 2004. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Seminar Papers 734, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Fernando M. Martin, 2004. "A Positive Theory of Government Debt," Macroeconomics 0408013, EconWPA, revised 12 Oct 2004.
  5. Catarina Reis, 2013. "Taxation without commitment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 565-588, March.
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  7. 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.
  8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  10. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 588-614, September.
  11. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Money and Asset Prices in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 919-44, October.
  13. Ellison, Martin & Rankin, Neil, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy when lump-sum taxes are unavailable: A reconsideration of the outcomes under commitment and discretion," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 219-243, January.
  14. Juan P. Nicolini, 1993. "More on the time inconsistency of optimal monetary policy," Economics Working Papers 56, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  15. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1991. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Some Recent Results," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 519-39, August.
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