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Gold, Fiat Money, and Price Stability

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  • Bordo Michael D.

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

  • Dittmar Robert D

    ()
    (Risk Analytics)

  • Gavin William T.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

The classical gold standard has long been associated with long-run price stability. But short-run price variability led critics of the gold standard to propose reforms that look much like modern versions of price-path targeting. This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to examine price dynamics under alternative policy regimes. In the model, a pure inflation target provides more short-run price stability than does the gold standard and, although it introduces a unit root into the price level, it leads to as much long-term price stability as does the gold standard for horizons shorter than 20 years. Relative to these regimes, Fisher's compensated dollar (or pure price-path targeting) reduces inflation uncertainty by an order of magnitude at all horizons. A Taylor rule, with its relatively large weight on output, leads to large uncertainty about inflation at long horizons. This long-run inflation uncertainty can be largely eliminated by introducing an additional response to the deviation of the price level from a desired path.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:26

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  1. Dittmar, Robert D. & Gavin, William T., 2005. "Inflation-targeting, price-path targeting and indeterminacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 336-342, September.
  2. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 247-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christopher J. Erceg and Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect Credibility and Inflation Persistence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1998. "The Solution of Singular Linear Difference Systems under Rational Expectations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1015-26, November.
  7. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1983. "A model of commodity money," Staff Report 85, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Allan Meltzer & Saranna Robinson, 1989. "Stability Under the Gold Standard in Practice," NBER Chapters, in: Money, History, and International Finance: Essays in Honor of Anna J. Schwartz, pages 163-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn E. Kydland, 1999. "Price-level uncertainty and inflation targeting," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 23-34.
  10. Milton Friedman, 1951. "Commodity-Reserve Currency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 203.
  11. Fujiki, Hiroshi, 2003. "A model of the Federal Reserve Act under the international gold standard system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1333-1350, September.
  12. Neely, Christopher J & Roy, Amlan & Whiteman, Charles H, 2001. "Risk Aversion versus Intertemporal Substitution: A Case Study of Identification Failure in the Intertemporal Consumption Capital Asset Pricing Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 395-403, October.
  13. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  14. Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 2000. "A Return to the Convertibility Principle? Monetary And Fiscal Regimes in Historical Perspective," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 415, Stockholm School of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Elisa Newby, 2009. " The Suspension of the Gold Standard as Sustainable Monetary Policy," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0907, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  2. Bordo, Michael D., 2012. "Could the United States have had a better central bank? An historical counterfactual speculation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 597-607.
  3. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2012. "Irving Fisher and Priceā€Level Targeting in Austria: Was Silver the Answer?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 733-750, 06.
  4. Elisa Newby, 2007. "Macroeconomic Implications of Gold Reserve Policy of the Bank of England during the Eighteenth Century," CDMA Working Paper Series 200708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  5. Elisa Newby, 2007. "The Suspension of Cash Payments as a Monetary Regime," CDMA Working Paper Series 200707, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  6. A. Malliaris & Mary Malliaris, 2013. "Are oil, gold and the euro inter-related? Time series and neural network analysis," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-14, January.
  7. Shafiee, Shahriar & Topal, Erkan, 2010. "An overview of global gold market and gold price forecasting," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 178-189, September.

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