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Monday, November 05, 2012

'Managing a Liquidity Trap: Monetary and Fiscal Policy'

I like Stephen Williamson a lot better when he puts on his academic cap. I learned something from this:

Managing a Liquidity Trap: Monetary and Fiscal Policy

I disagree with him about the value of forward guidance, though I wouldn't bet the recovery on this one mechanism, but it's a nice discussion of the underlying issues.

I was surprised to see this reference to fiscal policy:

I've come to think of the standard New Keynesian framework as a model of fiscal policy. The basic sticky price (or sticky wage) inefficiency comes from relative price distortions. Particularly given the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate, monetary policy is the wrong vehicle for addressing the problem. Indeed, in Werning's model we can always get an efficient allocation with appropriately-set consumption taxes (see Correia et al., for example). I don't think the New Keynesians have captured what monetary policy is about.

For some reason, I thought he was adamantly opposed to fiscal policy interventions. But I think I'm missing something here -- perhaps he is discussing what this particular model says, or what NK models say more generally, rather than what he believes and endorses. After all, he's not a fan of the NK framework. In any case, in addition to whatever help monetary policy can provide, as just noted in the previous post I agree that fiscal policy has an important role to play in helping the economy recover.

    Posted by on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM in Academic Papers, Economics, Monetary Policy | Permalink  Comments (16)


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