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Nominal targeting in an economy with government debt

Yuting Bai, Tatiana Kirsanova and Campbell Leith ()

European Economic Review, 2017, vol. 94, issue C, 103-125

Abstract: The fiscal policy environment central banks operate in can be radically different with respect to debt levels, maturity structures and whether or not fiscal adjustments are spending- or tax-based. Despite this, most analyses of monetary policy delegation schemes typically ignore the behavior of the fiscal policy maker. This paper investigates whether delegating either nominal income or price level targets to a monetary authority yields social gains in an economy with government debt, where the fiscal policymaker, acting strategically, may support or undermine the policies of the central bank. We argue that the fiscal environment plays an important role in determining the performance of monetary policy. The gains to price level targeting typically found in the literature can be overturned at empirically relevant debt-to-GDP ratios, when debt stabilization is achieved through spending cuts. In contrast these gains are retained if the fiscal authorities utilize taxes to respond to shocks and stabilize debt.

Keywords: Monetary and fiscal policy interactions; Price level targeting; Nominal income targeting; Discretionary policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E52 E58 E61 C61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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