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Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration

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  • Obstfeld, Maurice

Abstract

This paper shows that the optimal extraction of seigniorage implies a strong tendency for inflation to fall over time toward its socially optimal level. The point is made using a multi-period model in which (i) the government can finance deficits through bond issue or money creation, (ii) private-sector expectations are rational, and (iii) the government sets the inflation rate each period in a discretionary manner. One way to view the model is as a synthesis of the "tax-smoothing" theory of government deficits, which predicts that the inflation tax follows approximately a martingale, and of models of discretionary policy making, which predict (absent reputation effects) that inflation is likely to exceed its socially optimal level. Both predictions are modified when the two approaches to explaining inflation are merged. Reputation effects play no role in the analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt712610vq.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt712610vq

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Related research

Keywords: seigniorage; dynamic games; time consistency; Markov perfect equilibrium; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Economic Policy;

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References

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  1. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
  2. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and the Forecastability and Persistence of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 1927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2010. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, 1: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 397, David K. Levine.
  4. Cohen, Daniel & Michel, Philippe, 1988. "How Should Control Theory Be Used to Calculate a Time-Consistent Government Policy?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 263-74, April.
  5. Kiguel, Miguel A & Liviatan, Nissan, 1988. "Inflationary Rigidities and Orthodox Stabilization Policies: Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 273-98, September.
  6. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
  7. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  8. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
  9. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
  10. V. V. Chari & Patrick J Kehoe, 1998. "Sustainable Plans," Levine's Working Paper Archive 600, David K. Levine.
  11. Marcus Miller & Mark Salmon, 1985. "Policy Coordination And Dynamic Games," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Policy Coordination, pages 184-227 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I. & Van Huyck, John B., 1986. "Seigniorage, inflation, and reputation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 21-31, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1986. "Principles of fiscal and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 117-134, January.
  16. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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