The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper considers the interaction between the private sector, the monetary authority, and the fiscal authority, 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.