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Debt, Inflation and Central Bank Independence

  • Fernando Martin

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

When governments trade-off maximizing general welfare with maximizing their own expenditure, the degree of central bank independence has implications for inflation, taxes and debt. Making the central bank more independent implies that, for any given level debt, inflation and taxes decrease, while debt accumulation increases. In the transition, as debt increases, inflation and taxes revert to their pre-reform levels, due to the higher financial burden. In the long-run, only debt varies significantly. Adding an explicit monetary target does not alter this result, but may still affect how policy responds to cyclical shocks. The model suggests that the debt increase and inflation reduction experienced in the U.S. and several other developed countries in the early 1980s is the combined outcome of increased central bank independence and lower tolerance for inflation by agents.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 1019.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1019
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