Inflation Target and Debt Management of Local Government Bonds
42 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2011 Last revised: 13 Dec 2011
Date Written: July 6, 2011
We show that the optimal inflation target imposed on a discretionary central bank varies with the extent of fiscal decentralization. Our analysis compares two fiscal regimes for local government bond management: the partially decentralized (PD) regime where the central government determines the amount of local bond; and the fully decentralized (FD) regime where each local government determines the amount of local bond. In both regimes, an inflation target has two effects: it harnesses surprise inflation; and it induces excess issuance of local bonds. Due to externality in determining the level of local government bond, however, the second effect, and thereby the optimal level of the inflation target, are smaller in the FD regime than in the PD regime. We also find that even if fiscal decentralization in its isolation deteriorates social welfare, we may be able to improve social welfare by introducing an inflation target when fiscal decentralization measures are adopted.
Keywords: Fiscal decentralization, Government bond management, Externality, Inflation targets, Fiscal discipline
JEL Classification: E52, H11, H7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation