Fiscal Rules, Interest Payments on Debt, and the Irrelevance of the Taylor Principle

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Abstract

We show that in New Keynesian models with non-neutral government debt, the Taylor principle ceases to be relevant for equilibrium determinacy if the government follows a fiscal rule of levying taxes in proportion to its interest payments on existing debt. This is in contrast with previous studies, which typically have assumed that taxes respond to the level of debt, and have found either a confirmation or reversal of the Taylor principle depending on the feedback from debt to taxes. We find, instead, that the equilibrium effect of the interest rate on debt is crucial for determinacy. If, as in our model, taxes are raised in response to debt interest payments, the range of indeterminacy monotonically decreases with the fiscal feedback parameter. When interest payments are completely tax-financed, indeterminacy is ruled out without any restrictions on monetary policy.

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