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Can We Rule Out Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximising Models? Yes, We Can

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  • William Coleman

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Abstract

A critique is advanced of the contention of Obstfeld and Rogoff (1983) that in a fiat money regime, 'speculative hyperinflations can be excluded only through severe restrictions' on preferences. It is maintained here, in contrast, that no more than the infinity of the marginal utility of real balances at zero real balances is sufficient to rule out speculative hyperinflations. What Obstfeld and Rogoff have successfully drawn attention to is the theoretical possibility of money having strictly zero purchasing power. But the phenomenon of zero purchasing power has no explanatory power for historically observed hyperinflations, or any historically observed modern economy.

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Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2008-487.

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Length: 24 Pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2008-487

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  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 675-87, August.
  2. Narayana Kocherlakota & Christopher Phelan, 1999. "Explaining the fiscal theory of the price level," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 14-23.
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