Government Leadership and Central Bank Design This article investigates the impact on economic performance of the timing of moves in a policy game between the government and the central bank for a government with both distributional and stabilization objectives. It is shown that both inflation and income inequality are reduced without sacrificing output growth if the government assumes a leadership role compared to a regime in which monetary and fiscal policy is determined simultaneously. Further, it is shown that government leadership benefits both the fiscal and monetary authorities. The implications of these results for a country deciding whether to join a monetary union are also considered. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Nos.: E52, E61, F42.