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Should We be Afraid of Friedman's Rule?

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  • Uhlig, Harald

Abstract

Should one think of zero nominal interest rates as an undesirable liquidity trap or as the desirable Friedman rule? I use three different frameworks to discuss this issue. First, I restate Cole and Kocherlakota's (1998) analysis of Friedman's rule: short run increases in the money stock - whether through issuing spending coupons, open market operations or foreign exchange intervention - change nothing as long as the money stock shrinks in the long run. Second, two simple ‘Keynesian’ models of the inflationary process with a zero lower bound on nominal interest rates imply either that deflationary spirals should be common or that a policy close to the Friedman rule and thus some deflation is optimal. Finally, a formal ‘baby-sitting coop’ model implies multiple equilibria, but does not support the injection of liquidity to restore the good equilibrium, in contrast to Krugman (1998).

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2548.

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Date of creation: Sep 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2548

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Keywords: Baby-Sitting Coop; Cash In Advance; Deflation; Deflationary Spiral; Friedman's Rule; Japan; Liquidity Trap; Optimal Monetary Policy; Zero Lower Bound On Nominal Interest Rates;

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Cited by:
  1. Claudio Morana, 2004. "The Japanese Deflation: Has It Had Real Effects? Could It Have Been Avoided?," ICER Working Papers 29-2004, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  2. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-96, April.
  3. Roberto M. Billi & Klaus Adam, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 67, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Benjamin Hunt & Douglas Laxton, 2004. "The Zero Interest Rate Floor (ZIF) and its Implications for Monetary Policy in Japan," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 187(1), pages 76-92, January.
  5. Peter Ireland, 2005. "EconomicDynamics Interviews Peter Ireland on Money and the Business Cycle," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), November.
  6. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 9968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Svensson, Lars E O, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. David M. Arseneau, 2004. "Expectation traps in a New Keynesian open economy model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Mauro Boianovsky, 2003. "The IS-LM Model and the Liquidity Trap Concept: from Hicks to Krugman," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] a13, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  10. Cargill, Thomas F. & Parker, Elliott, 2004. "Price deflation, money demand, and monetary policy discontinuity: a comparative view of Japan, China, and the United States," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 125-147, March.

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