NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Fiscal Devaluations

Emmanuel Farhi, Gita Gopinath, Oleg Itskhoki

NBER Working Paper No. 17662
Issued in December 2011
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM   ITI   ME

We show that even when the exchange rate cannot be devalued, a small set of conventional fiscal instruments can robustly replicate the real allocations attained under a nominal exchange rate devaluation in a dynamic New Keynesian open economy environment. We perform the analysis under alternative pricing assumptions- producer or local currency pricing, along with nominal wage stickiness; under arbitrary degrees of asset market completeness and for general stochastic sequences of devaluations. There are two types of fiscal policies equivalent to an exchange rate devaluation-one, a uniform increase in import tariff and export subsidy, and two, a value-added tax increase and a uniform payroll tax reduction. When the devaluations are anticipated, these policies need to be supplemented with a consumption tax reduction and an income tax increase. These policies are revenue neutral. In certain cases equivalence requires, in addition, a partial default on foreign bond holders. We discuss the issues of implementation of these policies, in particular, under the circumstances of a currency union.

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This paper was revised on June 17, 2013

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17662

Fiscal Devaluations” (with Gita Gopinath and Oleg Itskhoki) Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming.

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