Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences

36 Pages Posted: 11 May 2006 Last revised: 15 Jul 2010

See all articles by Bennett T. McCallum

Bennett T. McCallum

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Edward Nelson

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

The fiscal theory of the price level (FTPL) has attracted much attention but disagreement remains concerning its defining characteristics. Some writers have emphasized implications regarding interest-rate pegging and determinacy of RE solutions, whereas others have stressed its capacity to generate equilibria in which price level trajectories mimic those of bonds and differ drastically from those of money supplies. We argue that the FTPL attained prominence precisely because it appeared to provide a theory whose implications differ greatly from conventional monetary analysis; accordingly we review monetarist writings to identify the primary distinctions. In addition, we review recent findings concerning learnability %u2013 and therefore plausibility %u2013 of competing RE equilibria. These indicate that when FTPL and monetarist equilibria differ, the latter are more plausible in the vast majority of cases. Under Ricardian assumptions, necessary for clear distinctions, theoretical analysis indicates that fiscal and monetary coordination is not necessary for macroeconomic stability.

Suggested Citation

McCallum, Bennett T. and Nelson, Edward, Monetary and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level: The Irreconcilable Differences (March 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12089, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=888291

Bennett T. McCallum (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-2347 (Phone)
412-268-7357 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Edward Nelson

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
534
PlumX Metrics