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Unconventional Fiscal Policy at the Zero Bound

Isabel Horta Correia
Juan Pablo Nicolini
Emmanuel Farhi
Publication Year 
JEL Code 
E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
E40 - General
E52 - Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects)
E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
E62 - Fiscal Policy; Public Expenditures, Investment, and Finance; Taxation
E63 - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization
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 inflate. We conclude that in the New Keynesian model, the zero bound on nominal interest rates is not a relevant constraint on both .fiscal and monetary policy.
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