Pawel Zabczyk

International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street
N.W. Washington, D.C., 20431

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: International Monetary Fund

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2019A Requiem for the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level
with Roger E.A. Farmer: w25445
We demonstrate that the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level (FTPL) cannot be used to determine the price level uniquely in the overlapping generations (OLG) model. We provide two examples of OLG models, one with three 3-period lives and one with 62-period lives. Both examples are calibrated to an income profile chosen to match the life-cycle earnings process in U.S. data estimated by Guvenen et al. (2015). In both examples, there exist multiple steady-state equilibria. Our findings challenge established views about what constitutes a good combination of fiscal and monetary policies. As long as the primary deficit or the primary surplus is not too large, the fiscal authority can conduct policies that are unresponsive to endogenous changes in the level of its outstanding debt. Monetary and fisc...
March 2018The Household Fallacy
with Roger Farmer: w24393
We refer to the idea that government must 'tighten its belt' as a necessary policy response to higher indebtedness as the household fallacy. We provide a reason to be skeptical of this claim that holds even if the economy always operates at full employment and all markets clear. Our argument rests on the fact that, in an overlapping-generations (OLG) model, changes in government debt cause changes in the real interest rate that redistribute the burden of repayment across generations. We do not rely on the assumption that the equilibrium is dynamically inefficient, and our argument holds in a version of the OLG model where the real interest rate is always positive.

Published: Roger E.A. Farmer & Pawel Zabczyk, 2018. "The household fallacy," Economics Letters, . citation courtesy of

March 2016The Theory of Unconventional Monetary Policy
with Roger Farmer: w22135
This paper is about the effectiveness of qualitative easing, a form of unconventional monetary policy that changes the risk composition of the central bank balance sheet with the goal of stabilizing economic activity. We construct a general equilibrium model where agents have rational expectations and there is a complete set of financial securities, but where some agents are unable to participate in financial markets. We show that a change in the risk composition of the central bank's balance sheet will change equilibrium asset prices and we prove that, in our model, a policy in which the central bank stabilizes non-fundamental fluctuations in the stock market is Pareto improving and self-financing.
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us