Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices

32 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2002 Last revised: 29 Oct 2010

See all articles by Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Martín Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

This paper studies optimal .scal and monetary policy under sticky product prices. The theoretical framework is a stochastic production economy without capital. The government finances an exogenous stream of purchases by levying distortionary income taxes, printing money, and issuing one-period nominally risk-free bonds. The main findings of the paper are: First, for a miniscule degree of price stickiness (i.e., many times below available empirical estimates)the optimal volatility of in.ation is near zero. This result stands in stark contrast with the high volatility of inflation implied by the Ramsey allocation when prices are flexible. The finding is in line with a recent body of work on optimal monetary policy under nominal rigidities that ignores the role of optimal fiscal policy. Second, even small deviations from full price flexibility induce near random walk behavior in government debt and tax rates, as in economies with real non-state-contingent debt only. Finally, sluggish price adjustment raises the average nominal interest rate above the one called for by the Friedman rule.

Suggested Citation

Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie and Uribe, Martin, Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices (September 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9220. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=332264

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Martin Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

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212-851-4008 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

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