Nominal debt as a burden on monetary policy
We study the effects of nominal debt on the optimal sequential choice of monetary and debt policy. When the stock of debt is nominal, the incentive to generate unanticipated inflation increases the cost of the outstanding debt even if no unanticipated inflation episodes occur in equilibrium. Without full commitment, the optimal sequential policy is to deplete the outstanding stock of debt progressively until these extra costs disappear. Nominal debt is therefore a burden on monetary policy, not only because it must be serviced, but also because it creates a time inconsistency problem that ...
Gaps and triangles
In this paper, we derive principles of optimal cyclical monetary policy in an economy without capital, with a cash-in-advance restriction on household transactions, and with monopolistic firms that set prices one period in advance. The only distortionary policy instruments are the nominal interest rate and the money supply. In this environment, it is feasible to undo both the cash in advance and the price setting restrictions, but not the monopolistic competition distortion. We show that it is optimal to follow the Friedman rule, and thus offset the cash-in-advance restriction.
Optimal Cooperative Taxation in the Global Economy
We use the Ramsey and Mirrlees approaches to study how fiscal and trade policy should be set cooperatively when governments must raise revenues with distorting taxes. Free trade and unrestricted capital mobility are optimal. Efficient outcomes can be implemented with taxes only on final consumption goods and labor income. We study alternative tax systems, showing that uniform taxation of household asset returns, and not taxing corporate income yields efficient outcomes. Border adjustments exempting exports from and including imports in the tax base are desirable. Destination and residence ...
Optimal Capital Taxation Revisited
We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed, arguing that if governments are allowed to use the kinds of tax instruments widely used in practice, for preferences that are standard in the macroeconomic literature, the optimal approach is to never distort capital accumulation. We show that the results in the literature that lead to the presumption that capital ought to be taxed for some time arise because of the initial confiscation of wealth and because the tax system is restricted.
The optimal price of money
The optimal inflation tax is computed in monetary models where money is costly to supply. The models are simple general equilibrium models with money in the utility function or a transactions technology. The inflation tax is a means of raising taxes to finance exogenous government expenditures. The alternative means of revenue are also distortionary. The main point of this article is to show that the robustness of the optimality of the Friedman rule, of a zero nominal interest rate, resides in the assumption that money is produced at zero cost.
Inside-outside money competition
We study how competition from privately supplied currency substitutes affects monetary equilibria. Whenever currency is inefficiently provided, inside money competition plays a disciplinary role by providing an upper bound on equilibrium inflation rates. Furthermore, if "inside monies" can be produced at a sufficiently low cost, outside money is driven out of circulation. Whenever a 'benevolent' government can commit to its fiscal policy, sequential monetary policy is efficient and inside money competition plays no role.
Unconventional fiscal policy at the zero bound
When the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates binds, monetary policy cannot provide appropriate stimulus. We show that, in the standard New Keynesian model, tax policy can deliver such stimulus at no cost and in a time-consistent manner. There is no need to use inefficient policies such as wasteful public spending or future commitments to low interest rates.
Money is an experience good: competition and trust in the private provision of money
The interplay between competition and trust as efficiency-enhancing mechanisms in the private provision of money is studied. With commitment, trust is automatically achieved and competition ensures efficiency. Without commitment, competition plays no role. Trust does play a role but requires a bound on efficiency. Stationary inflation must be non-negative and, therefore, the Friedman rule cannot be achieved. The quality of money can be observed only after its purchasing capacity is realized. In this sense, money is an experience good.
Optimal fiscal and monetary policy: equivalence results
In this article, we analyze the implications of price-setting restrictions for the conduct of cyclical fiscal and monetary policy. We consider standard monetary economies that differ in the price-setting restrictions imposed on the firms. We show that, independently of the degree or type of price stickiness, it is possible to implement the same efficient set of allocations and that each allocation in that set is implemented with policies that are also independent of the price stickiness. In this sense, environments with different price-setting restrictions are equivalent.
Monetary policy with state contingent interest rates
What instruments of monetary policy must be used in order to implement a unique equilibrium? This paper revisits the issues addressed by Sargent and Wallace (1975) on the multiplicity of equilibria when policy is conducted with interest rate rules. We show that the appropriate interest rate instruments under uncertainty are state- contingent interest rates, i.e. the nominal returns on state-contingent nominal assets. A policy that pegs state-contingent nominal interest rates, and sets the initial money supply, implements a unique equilibrium. These results hold whether prices are flexible or ...