Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates

Contents:

Author Info

  • Casey B. Mulligan
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

We argue that the relevant monetary decision for the majority of U.S. households is not the fraction of assets to be held in interest-bearing form, but whether to hold any such assets at all (we call this "the decision to adopt" the financial technology). We show that the key variable governing the adoption decision is the product of the interest rate times the total amount of assets. This implies that the interest elasticity of household money demand at low interest rates can be estimated from the variation in asset holdings in a cross section of households rather than historical interest rate variations. We do so with the 1989 Survey of Consumer Finances. We find that (a) the elasticity of money demand is very small when the interest rate is small, (b) the probability that a household holds any amount of interest-bearing assets is positively related to the level of financial assets, and (c) the cost of adopting financial technologies is negatively related to participation in a pension program. At interest rates of 5 percent, roughly one-half of the elasticity can be attributed to the Allais-Baumol-Tobin or intensive margin and half to the new adopters or extensive margin. The intensive margin is less important at lower interest rates and more important at higher interest rates. Finally, we argue that ignoring extensive margins may lead to an empirically important overestimation of the cost of inflation at low interest rates.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/resolve?JPE008509PDF
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 108 (2000)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 961-991

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:108:y:2000:i:5:p:961-991

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

Related research

Keywords:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:108:y:2000:i:5:p:961-991. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.