The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level (FTPL) is the claim that, in a popular class of theoretical models, the price level is sometimes determined by fiscal policy rather than monetary policy. The models where this claim has been established assume that all decisions are made by an infinitely-lived representative agent. We present an alternative, arguably more realistic model, populated by sixty-two generations of people. We calibrate our model to an income profile from U.S. data and we show that the FTPL breaks down. In our model, the price level and the real interest rate are indeterminate, even when monetary and fiscal policy are both active. Our findings challenge established views about what constitutes a good combination of fiscal and monetary policies.
In the last few decades, real GDP growth and investment in advanced countries have declined in tandem. This slowdown was not the result of weak demand (there has been no shift along the Okun curve), but of a decline in potential output growth (which has shifted the Okun curve to the left). We analyze what happens if central banks mistakenly diagnose the problem as insufficient demand, when it is actually a supply problem. We do this in a real model, in which inflation is not an issue. We show that aggressive central bank action may revive gross investment, but it will not revive net investment or growth. Moreover, low interest rates will lead to an increase in the capital output ratio, a low return on capital and high leverage. We show that these forecasts are in line with what has happened in major advanced countries.
Szilard Benk, Tamas Csabafi, Jing Dang, Max Gillman, and Michal Kejak
For US postwar data, the paper explains central consumption, labor, investment and output correlations and volatilities along with output growth persistence by including a human capital investment sector and a variable physical capital utilization rate. Strong internal "amplication" results from an economy-wide productivity shock across goods and human capital investment sectors that has variances 10,000 fold smaller than in the standard RBC TFP shock. Simulated moments are compared to data moments for the business cycle, the low frequency and the Medium Cycle frequency, as well as the high frequency. A metric is provided to gauge that the results have an average of 46% deviation of simulated moments from data moments, for a broad array of targets across all windows. Within this array, key correlations have only a 15% deviation in the business cycle window, and growth persistence only an 8% deviation in the low frequency, which indicates good "propagation". Countercyclic human capital investment time and procyclic physical capital capacity utilization rates are also found as in data.
This paper provides an explanation for the secular increase in the price of services relative to that of manufactured goods that relies on capital accumulation rather than on an exogenous total factor productivity growth differential. The key assumptions of the two-sector, intertemporal optimizing model are relatively high capital intensity in the production of goods and limited cross-border capital mobility, allowing the interest rate to vary. With plausible parameterization, the model also predicts a decline in the employment share of the goods sector over time.
The macroeconomic implications of a pension reform that substitutes a high-return fully-funded system for a low-return pay-as-you-go system are discussed in an overlapping generations, neoclassical growth model. With forward-looking individuals, a debt-financed reform worsens the current account, while a tax-financed reform leaves the current account unchanged. With myopic individuals, a debt-financed reform leaves the current account unchanged, while a tax-financed reform improves the current account. Hence, tax-financing, which is equivalent to pre-funding, should be the preferred reform strategy in a small open economy with a weak current account position.
J. Humberto Lopez, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, and Mr. Angel J. Ubide
This paper studies the sources of Spanish business cycles. It assumes that Spanish output is affected by two types of shocks. The first one has permanent long-run effects on output and it is identified as a supply shock. The second one has only transitory effects on output and it is identified as a demand shock. Spain seems to have long business cycles, of about 15 years. As restrictive demand policies to control the inflation rate could prove painful and disappointing, supply side policies aimed at reducing rigidities in the product and labor market would be a better way to achieve the same objective.
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The increase in the U.S. public debt over the past twelve years raises questions about its implications for investment and economic growth. This paper places these developments within an international and historical context and quantitatively examines the implications of various measures of the current U.S. public debt-to-GDP ratio on economic growth. The analysis is undertaken through extensions of recently developed endogenous growth models. The results suggest that while higher levels of the public debt may affect long-run economic growth negatively, the order of magnitude is not large enough to be a cause for serious concern.
This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during January-June 1993 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period. Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201