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The optimum quantity of money revisited

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  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • David K. Levine
  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

This paper uses a simple general equilibrium model in which agents use money holdings to self insure to address the classic question: What is the optimal rate of change of the money supply? The standard answer to this question, provided by Friedman, Bewley, Townsend, and others, is that this rate is negative. Because any revenues from seignorage in our model are redistributed in lump-sum form to agents and this redistribution improves insurance possibilities, we find that the optimal rate is sometimes positive. We also discuss the measurement of welfare gains or losses from inflation and their quantitative significance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 404.

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Date of creation: 1990
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Publication status: Published in Economic analysis of markets and games: Essays in honor of Frank Hahn (1992, pp. 501-526)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:404

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  1. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-48, September.
  2. Grandmont, Jean-Michel & Younes, Yves, 1973. "On the Efficiency of a Monetary Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 149-65, April.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  4. Benhabib, Jess & Bull, Clive, 1983. "The Optimal Quantity of Money: A Formal Treatment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 101-11, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Scheinkman, Jose A & Weiss, Laurence, 1986. "Borrowing Constraints and Aggregate Economic Activity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 23-45, January.
  7. Hahn, F H, 1971. "Professor Friedman's Views on Money," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 38(149), pages 61-80, February.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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