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IMF Staff Papers Logo    September/December 1999
Volume 46, Number 3
 
Monetary Policy and Public Finances:
Inflation Targets in a New Perspective

By Christian H. Beddies

Full Text of this Article (PDF 180 K)

Abstract: This paper examines how the private sector, the monetary authority, and the fiscal authority interact and concludes that unrestricted central bank independence may not be an optimal way to collect seigniorage revenues or stabilize supply shocks. Moreover, the paper shows that the implementation of an optimal inflation target results in optimal shares of government finances—seigniorage, taxes, and the spending shortfall—from society's point of view but still involves suboptimal stabilization. Even if price stability is the sole central bank objective, a positive inflation target has important implications for the government's finances, as well as for stabilization. [JEL: E52, E62]

1999 International Monetary Fund