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Who is Afraid of the Friedman Rule?

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  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep
  • Haslag, Joseph
  • Martin, Antoine
  • Singh, Rajesh

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the connection between optimal monetary policy and heterogeneity among agents. We study a standard monetary economy with two types of agents in which the stationary distribution of money holdings is non-degenerate. Sans type-specific fiscal policy, we show that the zero-nominal-interest rate policy (the Friedman rule) does not maximize type-specific welfare; it may not maximize aggregate social welfare either. Indeed, one or, more surprisingly, both types may benefit if the central bank deviates from the Friedman rule. Our results suggest a positive explanation for why central banks around the world do not implement the Friedman rule.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p1852-2004-11-10.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12213.

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Date of creation: 10 Nov 2004
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Publication status: Published in Economic Inquiry, April 2008, vol. 46 no. 2, pp. 113-130
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12213

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: Friedman rule; monetary policy; money-in-the-utility-function;

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  1. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Staff Report 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
  3. David K. Levine, 1991. "Asset Trading Mechanisms and Expansionary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 43, David K. Levine.
  4. Chris Edmond, 2002. "Self-Insurance, Social Insurance, and the Optimum Quantity of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 141-147, May.
  5. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag & Antoine Martin, 2004. "Heterogeneity, redistribution, and the Friedman rule," Research Working Paper RWP 04-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  6. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "Money as a mechanism in a Bewley economy," Working Paper Series WP-02-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
  8. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
  9. Beatrix Paal & Bruce D. Smith, 2013. "The sub-optimality of the Friedman rule and the optimum quantity of money," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 911-948, November.
  10. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
  11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  12. Gahvari, Firouz, 1988. "Lump-sum taxation and the superneutrality and optimum quantity of money in life cycle growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 339-367, August.
  13. Albanesi, Stefania, 2003. "Optimal and Time-Consistent Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 3713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Peter Ireland, 2005. "The liquidity trap, the real balance effect, and the Friedman rule," Working Papers 05-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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Cited by:
  1. Andolfatto, David, 2013. "Incentive-feasible deflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 383-390.
  2. Sofía Bauducco, 2011. "Seigniorage and Distortionary Taxation in a Model with Heterogeneous Agents and Idiosyncratic Uncertainty," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 611, Central Bank of Chile.

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