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Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Automatic Stabilizers: Welfare and Macroeconomic Stability


  • Massimiliano Marzo
  • Thomas A. Lubik


This paper analyzes the specific role of fiscal policy on the welfare effects of macroeconomic stabilization policies. We extend current DSGE models à la Schmitt-Grohè and Uribe (2003) to a non-tandard fiscal policy framework. We focus on distortionary and progressive taxation which alters the trade-off between inflation and output stabilization in a non-trivial manner. We develop a DSGE model with nominal rigidities in form of costs of price and wage adjustments. Households have habit preferences in order to introduce a sufficient internal propagation mechanism. The government levies distortionary taxes on both labor and capital income. Fiscal policy is described by a feedback function on outstanding debt. The model is calibrated both for the US economy and for EMU and solved up to a second order approximation. We show that distortionary taxes substantially increase output volatility unless an implausibly high degree of real rigidity is included. We evaluate welfare using the conditional second-order accurate expected utility function. In the class of linear rules, a standard Taylor-type rule is still found to be optimal, but it violates the Taylor principle in that the inflation coefficient is less than one, whereas the output coefficient is considerably bigger than is commonly assumed in the literature. The results do not confirm the findings of Schmitt-Grohè and Uribe (2003), where the optimal output targeting coefficient is found to be negative

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Marzo & Thomas A. Lubik, 2004. "Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy and Automatic Stabilizers: Welfare and Macroeconomic Stability," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 170, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:170

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    Cited by:

    1. Kollmann, Robert & Kim, Jinill & Kim, Sunghyun H., 2011. "Solving the multi-country Real Business Cycle model using a perturbation method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 203-206, February.

    More about this item


    Monetary Policy; Fiscal Rules; Distortionary Taxation; Welfare Effects; Nominal and Real Rigidities;

    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
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy


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