NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, Martin Uribe

NBER Working Paper No. 9220
Issued in September 2002
NBER Program(s):   EFG

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9220

Published:

  • Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie, and Martin Uribe. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy under Sticky Prices." Journal of Economic Theory, February 2004, 114(2): 198-230 ,
  • Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, June 16, 2001 ,
  • Martin Uribe & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 2001. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.

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