In this article, we analyze the implications of price-setting restrictions for the conduct of cyclical fiscal and monetary policy. We consider standard monetary economies that differ in the price-setting restrictions imposed on the firms. We show that, independently of the degree or type of price stickiness, it is possible to implement the same efficient set of allocations and that each allocation in that set is implemented with policies that are also independent of the price stickiness. In this sense, environments with different price-setting restrictions are equivalent.
The interplay between competition and trust as efficiency-enhancing mechanisms in the private provision of money is studied. With commitment, trust is automatically achieved and competition ensures efficiency. Without commitment, competition plays no role. Trust does play a role but requires a bound on efficiency. Stationary inflation must be non-negative and, therefore, the Friedman rule cannot be achieved. The quality of money can be observed only after its purchasing capacity is realized. In this sense, money is an experience good.
When the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates binds, monetary policy cannot provide appropriate stimulus. We show that, in the standard New Keynesian model, tax policy can deliver such stimulus at no cost and in a time-consistent manner. There is no need to use inefficient policies such as wasteful public spending or future commitments to low interest rates.
We analyze optimal policy in a simple small open economy model with price setting frictions. In particular, we study the optimal response of the nominal exchange rate following a terms of trade shock. We depart from the New Keynesian literature in that we explicitly model interna-tionally traded commodities as intermediate inputs in the production of local final goods and assume that the small open economy takes this price as given. This modification not only is in line with the long-standing tradition of small open economy models, but also changes the optimal movements in the exchange rate. In contrast with the recent small open economy New Keynesian literature, our model is able to reproduce the comovement between the nominal exchange rate and the price of exports, as it has been documented in the commodity currencies literature. Although we show there are preferences for which price stability is optimal even without flexible fiscal instruments, our model suggests that more attention should be given to the coordination between monetary and fiscal policy (taxes) in small open economies that are heavily dependent on exports of commodities. The model we propose is a useful framework in which to study fear of floating.
This paper makes two straightforward points that we argue are central to understanding the literature and debate surrounding the stability of the Phillips curve. First, the endogeneity of monetary policy implies that aggregate data are largely uninformative as to the existence of a stable relationship between unemployment and future inflation. Second, if the NAIRU model is assumed to be true, regional data can be used to identify the structural relationship between unemployment and future inflation. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 0.3 percentage point decline in inflation over the next year.
We study a model with heterogeneous producers that face collateral and cash-in-advance constraints. These two frictions give rise to a nontrivial financial market in a monetary economy. A tightening of the collateral constraint results in a recession generated by a credit crunch. The model can be used to study the effects on the main macroeconomic variables, and on the welfare of each individual of alternative monetary and fiscal policies following the credit crunch. The model reproduces several features of the recent financial crisis, such as the persistent negative real interest rates, the prolonged period at the zero bound for the nominal interest rate, and the collapse in investment and low inflation in spite of the very large increases in liquidity adopted by the government. The policy implications are in sharp contrast to the prevalent view in most central banks, which is based on the New Keynesian explanation of the liquidity trap.
Consumption-based asset pricing models with time-separable preferences can generate realistic amounts of stock price volatility if one allows for small deviations from rational expectations. We consider rational investors who entertain subjective prior beliefs about price behavior that are not equal but close to rational expectations. Optimal behavior then dictates that investors learn about price behavior from past price observations. We show that this imparts momentum and mean reversion into the equilibrium behavior of the price-dividend ratio, similar to what can be observed in the data. When estimating the model on U.S. stock price data using the method of simulated moments, we find that it can quantitatively account for the observed volatility of returns, the volatility and persistence of the price-dividend ratio, and the predictability of long-horizon returns. For reasonable degrees of risk aversion, the model generates up to one-half of the equity premium observed in the data. It also passes a formal statistical test for the overall goodness of fit, provided one excludes the equity premium from the set of moments to be matched.
We study a variation of the standard model of sovereign default, as in Aguiar and Gopinath (2006) or Arellano (2008), and show that this variation is consistent with multiple interest rate equilibria. Some of those equilibria correspond to the ones identified by Calvo (1988), where default is likely because rates are high, and rates are high because default is likely. The model is used to simulate equilibrium movements in sovereign bond spreads that resemble sovereign debt crises. It is also used to discuss lending policies similar to the ones announced by the European Central Bank in 2012.
We study a model of a small open economy that specializes in the production of commodities and that exhibits frictions in the setting of both prices and wages. We study the optimal response of monetary and exchange rate policy following a positive (negative) shock to the price of the exportable that generates an appreciation (depreciation) of the local currency. According to the calibrated version of the model, deviations from full price stability can generate welfare gains that are equivalent to almost 0.5% of lifetime consumption, as long as there is a significant degree of rigidity in nominal wages. On the other hand, if the rigidity is concentrated in prices, the welfare gains can be at most 0.1% of lifetime consumption. We also show that a rule - formally defined in the paper - that resembles a "dirty floating" regime can approximate the optimal policy remarkably well.