Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration
AbstractThis 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 InfoPaper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C97-085.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 1997
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," CEPR Discussion Papers 519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1997. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt712610vq, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," NBER Working Papers 2869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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