IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Is Reserve-ratio Arithmetic More Pleasant?

Listed author(s):
  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Joseph H. Haslag

Does it matter in a revenue-neutral setting if the government changes the inflation tax base or the inflation tax rate? We answer this question within the context of an overlapping-generations model in which government bonds, capital and cash reserves coexist. We consider experiments that parallel those studied in Sargent and Wallace's 'unpleasant monetarist arithmetic'; the government uses seigniorage to service its debt, choosing between changing either the money growth rate (the inflation tax rate) or the reserve-requirement ratio (the inflation tax base). In the former case we obtain standard unpleasant arithmetic; in the long run a permanent open market sale results in higher money growth, and higher long-run inflation. Somewhat surprisingly, it turns out that, for a given money growth rate, lower reserve requirements fund the government's interest expense. Associated with the lower reserve requirements is lower long-run inflation and higher welfare, compared with the money-growth case. The broad message is that reserve-ratio arithmetic can be pleasant even when money-growth arithmetic is not. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2003.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 279 (08)
Pages: 471-491

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:70:y:2003:i:279:p:471-491
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:70:y:2003:i:279:p:471-491. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.