Fiscal Limits and Monetary Policy
Every economy faces a "fiscal limit" that delivers the maximum government debt-GDP ratio that can be sustained without appreciable risk of default or higher inflation. But governments in advanced economies issue substantial nominal debt and nominal debt is a commitment to repay in nominal units. When such economies are approaching their fiscal limits, debt can be devalued through higher current and future inflation rates. The paper develops a simple bond market supply-demand apparatus to explain how fiscal policy can be a source of inflation, while monetary policy merely determines the timing of inflation.
Written for the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Huixin Bi, Chris Sims and Todd Walker gave me useful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Eric M. Leeper, 2013. "Fiscal Limits and Monetary Policy," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(2), pages 33-58. citation courtesy of