Inflationary Consequences of Anticipated Macroeconomic Policies

66 Pages Posted: 28 May 2004 Last revised: 27 Jun 2010

See all articles by Allan Drazen

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: August 1986

Abstract

We consider a model in which the level of taxes and seignorage are too low to finance government expenditures and debt service. Government debt will therefore grow without bound, implying the eventual need to change policy. Starting with utility maximization, we analyze the effect of the expected switch on equilibrium time paths before the switch takes place. We analyze stabilization via increasing taxes, increasing money growth rates, or cutting expenditures, both under certainty and under uncertainty about the composition or timing of a stabilization. Under full certainty, inflation may rise, fall, or remain constant before the stabilization, depending on which policy tool is used to stabilize. Uncertainty solely about the composition of the stabilization will yield paths in between the above cases, with a price jump at the time of stabilization. In general there is no simple correlation between changes in the budget deficit and inflation. With uncertainty about the timing OF a stabilization, the inflation rate will most likely exhibit fluctuations and may overshoot its steady state value, even when real balances move monotonically. Uncertainty about the timing of a stabilization can therefore itself induce fluctuation in inflation, even if underlying utility and subjective probability functions are smooth.

Suggested Citation

Drazen, Allan and Helpman, Elhanan, Inflationary Consequences of Anticipated Macroeconomic Policies (August 1986). NBER Working Paper No. w2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=344803

Allan Drazen (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-3477 (Phone)
301-405-7835 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Elhanan Helpman

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4690 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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