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Monetary-Fiscal Interactions and Redistribution in Small Open Economies

Gergő Motyovszki

Economics Working Papers from European University Institute

Abstract: Ballooning public debts in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic can present monetary-fiscal policies with a dilemma if and when neutral real interest rates rise, which might arrive sooner in emerging markets: policymakers can stabilize debts either by relying on fiscal adjustments (AM-PF) or by tolerating higher inflation (PM-AF). The choice between these policy mixes affects the efficacy of the fiscal expansion already today and can interact with the distributive properties of the stimulus across heterogeneous households. To study this, I build a two agent New Keynesian (TANK) small open economy model with monetary-fiscal interactions. Targeting fiscal transfers more towards high-MPC agents increases the output multiplier of a fiscal stimulus, while raising the degree of deficit-financing for these transfers also helps. However, precise targeting is much more important under the AM-PF regime than the question of financing, while the opposite is the case with a PM-AF policy mix: then deficit-spending is crucial for the size of the multiplier, and targeting matters less. Under the PM-AF regime fiscal stimulus entails a real exchange rate depreciation which might offset "import leakage" by stimulating net exports, if the share of hand-to-mouth households is low and trade is price elastic enough. Therefore, a PM-AF policy mix might break the Mundell-Fleming prediction that open economies have smaller fiscal multipliers relative to closed economies.

Keywords: monetary-fiscal interactions; small open economy; hand-to-mouth agents; redistribution; public debt; Ricardian equivalence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-dge, nep-mac, nep-mon and nep-opm
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