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The comeback of inflation as an optimal public finance tool

  • Di Bartolomeo Giovanni
  • Acocella Nicola
  • Tirelli Patrizio

We challenge the widely held belief that New-Keynesian models cannot predict optimal positive inflation rates. In fact these are justified by the Phelps argument that monetary financing can alleviate the burden of distortionary taxation. We obtain this result because, in contrast with previous contributions, our model accounts for public transfers as a component of fiscal outlays. We also contradict the view that the Ramsey policy should minimize inflation volatility and induce near-random walk dynamics of public debt in the long-run. In our model it should instead stabilize debt-to-GDP ratios in order to mitigate steady-state distortions. Our results thus provide theoretical support to policy-oriented analyses which call for a reversal of debt accumulated in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

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Paper provided by Department of Communication, University of Teramo in its series wp.comunite with number 0100.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ter:wpaper:0100
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  14. Ascari, Guido & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Rossi, Lorenza, 2011. "Calvo vs. Rotemberg in a trend inflation world: An empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1852-1867.
  15. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2008. "Trend Inflation, Indexation, and Inflation Persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2101-26, December.
  16. Caporale, Tony & McKiernan, Barbara, 1997. "High and variable inflation: Further evidence on the Friedman hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-68, January.
  17. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes F. Wieland, 2010. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models," NBER Working Papers 16093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Angelopoulos, Konstantinos & Philippopoulos, Apostolis & Vassilatos, Vanghelis, 2009. "The social cost of rent seeking in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 280-299, September.
  19. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Vanghelis Vassilatos, 2007. "Rent-seeking competition from state coffers in a calibrated DSGE model of the euro area," Working Papers 2007_29, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
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