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Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World

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  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

This paper shows that it is possible to analyze equilibrium inflation determination without any reference to either money supply or demand, as long as one specifies policy in terms of a Wicksellian' interest-rate feedback rule. This approach should be of considerable interest, as central banks now generally agree that conventional monetary aggregates are of little use as targets or even indicators for monetary policy, owing to the instability of money demand relations in economies with well-developed financial markets." The paper's central result is an approximation theorem, showing the existence, for a simple monetary model, of a well-behaved cashless limit' in which the money balances held to" facilitate transactions become negligible. Inflation in the cashless limit is shown to be a function of the gap between the natural rate' of interest, determined by the supply of goods and opportunities for intertemporal substitution, and a time-varying parameter of the interest-rate rule indicating the tightness of monetary policy. Inflation can be completely stabilized, in principle, by adjusting the policy parameter so as to track variation in the natural rate. Under such a regime, instability of money demand has little effect upon equilibrium inflation, and need not be monitored by the central bank.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6188.

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Date of creation: Sep 1997
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Publication status: published as Review of Economic Dynamics, Vol. 1 (1998): 173-219.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6188

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  1. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2000. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 211-246, February.
  2. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1984. "Money and Interest in Cash-In-Advance Economy," Discussion Papers 628, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1981. "Speculative hyperinflations in a maximizing models: can we rule them out?," International Finance Discussion Papers 195, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Sumner, Scott, 1995. "The Impact of Futures Price Targeting on the Precision and Credibility of Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 89-106, February.
  6. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
  7. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 1997-71, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  9. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  10. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
  11. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Wicksell, Knut, 1907. "The Influence of the Rate of Interest on Prices," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17, pages 213-220.
  13. Robert E. Hall & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1993. "Nominal Income Targeting," NBER Working Papers 4439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mankiw, N. Gregory (ed.), 1997. "Monetary Policy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226503097, April.
  18. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
  19. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  20. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1996. "Is There a Role for Monetary Aggregates in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Forward-Looking Behavior and the Stability of a Conventional Monetary Policy Rule," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1060-70, November.
  22. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  23. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  24. Mervyn King, 1994. "Monetary policy in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 109-28, August.
  25. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A price target for U.S. monetary policy? Lessons from the experience with money growth targets," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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