Following the sovereign debt crisis of 2012, some southern European countries have debated proposals to leave the Euro. We evaluate this policy change in a standard monetary model with seigniorage financing of the deficit. The main novel feature is that we depart from rational expectations while maintaining full rationality of agents in a sense made very precise. Our first contribution is to show that small departures from rational expectations imply that inflation upon exit can be orders of magnitude higher than under rational expectations. Our second contribution is to provide a framework for policy analysis in models without rational expectations.
We explore quantitatively the possibility of multiple equilibria in a model of sovereign debt crises. The source of multiplicity is the one identified by Calvo (1988). This type of multiplicity has been at the heart of the policy debate through the recent European sovereign debt crisis. Key for multiplicity in the model is a stochastic process for output featuring long periods of either high or low growth. We calibrate the output process in the model using data for the southern European countries that were exposed to the debt crisis. We find that expectations-driven sovereign debt crises are empirically plausible, but only in periods of stagnation. Multiplicity is state dependent: in periods of stagnation and for intermediate levels of debt, interest rates may be high for reasons unrelated to fundamentals.
We revisit the question of how capital should be taxed, arguing that if governments are allowed to use the kinds of tax instruments widely used in practice, for preferences that are standard in the macroeconomic literature, the optimal approach is to never distort capital accumulation. We show that the results in the literature that lead to the presumption that capital ought to be taxed for some time arise because of the initial confiscation of wealth and because the tax system is restricted.
We study cooperative optimal Ramsey equilibria in the open economy addressing classic policy questions: Should restrictions be placed to free trade and capital mobility? Should capital income be taxed? Should goods be taxed based on origin or destination? What are desirable border adjustments? How can a Ramsey allocation be implemented with residence-based taxes on assets? We characterize optimal wedges and analyze alternative policy implementations.
In this paper, we use a simple model of money demand to characterize the behavior of monetary aggregates in the United States from 1960 to 2016. We argue that the demand for the currency component of the monetary base has been remarkably stable during this period. We use the model to make projections of the nominal quantity of cash in circulation under alternative future paths for the federal funds rate. Our calculations suggest that if the federal funds rate is lifted up as suggested by the survey of economic projections made by the members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the fall in total currency demanded in the next two years ranges between 50 and 200 billion. Our discussion suggests that specific measures by the Federal Reserve to absorb that cash could be worth considering to make the future path of the price level consistent with the price stability mandate.
In this paper, we show that a substantial fraction of the volatility of real exchange rates between developed economies such as Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom against the US dollar can be accounted for by shocks that affect the prices of primary commodities such as oil, aluminum, maize, or copper. Our analysis implies that existing models used to analyze real exchange rates between large economies that mostly focus on trade between differentiated ﬁnal goods could benefit, in terms of matching the behavior of real exchange rates, by also considering trade in primary commodities.
We explore the long-run demand for M1 based on a data set that has comprised 32 countries since 1851. In many cases, cointegration tests identify a long-run equilibrium relationship between either velocity and the short rate or M1, GDP, and the short rate. Evidence is especially strong for the United States and the United Kingdom over the entire period since World War I and for moderate and high-inflation countries.
With the exception of high-inflation countries–for which a “log-log” specification is preferred–the data often prefer the specification in the levels of velocity and the short rate originally estimated by Selden (1956) and Latané (1960). This is especially clear for the United States and other low-inflation countries.
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.
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.