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Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in an Economy with Non-Ricardian Agents

  • Michal Horvath


The optimal policy mix maximizes a quadratic welfare objective which follows from the agents’ utility function and depends only on inflation and output gap volatility. We analyze the optimal response of the economy to a rise in government spending. We find that the optimal economy moves along an analogue of a conventional inflation-output variance frontier, as the population share of non-Ricardian agents rises. We derive simple optimal policy rules for the interest rate and fiscal surplus and analyze the key determinants of optimal policy. We find little evidence that increased government spending would crowd in private consumption in the optimal economy.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200703.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2007
Date of revision: 15 May 2007
Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0703
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  1. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland, 2005. "Does government spending crowd in private consumption? Theory and empirical evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0513, European Central Bank.
  2. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "A Simple Second-Order Solution Method For Dynamic General Equilibrium Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3554, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Anton Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2004. "Can Fiscal Policy Help Macroeconomic Stabilisation? Evidence from a New Keynesian Model with Liquidity Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 1171, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Chadha, J.S. & Charles Nolan, 2002. "Optimal Simple Rules for the Conduct of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0224, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  15. Galí, Jordi & Lopez-Salido, Jose David & Vallés Liberal, Javier, 2004. "Rule-of-Thumb Consumers and the Design of Interest Rate Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 4347, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. S. Rao Aiyagari & Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent & Juha Seppala, 2002. "Optimal Taxation without State-Contingent Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1220-1254, December.
  17. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 2002. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Siu, Henry E., 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 575-607, April.
  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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