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Inflation Aversion and the Optimal Inflation Tax

  • Gaowang Wang

    (School of Economics and Management, Wuhan University)

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (CEMA, Central University of Finance and Economics
    China School of Advanced Study (SAS), Shenzhen University
    IAS, Wuhan University
    GSM, Peking University)

The optimal inflation tax is reexamined in the framework of dynamic second best economy populated by individuals with inflation aversion. A simple formula for the optimal inflation rate is derived. Different from the literature, it is shown that if the marginal excess burden of other distorting taxes approaches zero, Friedman's rule for optimum quantity of money is not optimal, and the optimal inflation tax is negative; if the marginal excess burden of other taxes is nonzero, the optimal inflation rate is indeterminate and relies on the tradeoffs between the impatience effect of inflation and the effects of other economic forces in the monetary economy.

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Article provided by Society for AEF in its journal Annals of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 13-30

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Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2011:v:12:i:1:p:13-30
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  1. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1997. "The optimal inflation tax," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Siegel, Jeremy J., 1978. "Notes on optimal taxation and the optimal rate of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 297-305, April.
  3. Marty, Alvin L, 1973. "Growth, Satiety, and the Tax Revenue from Money Creation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1136-52, Sept.-Oct.
  4. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Brock, William A., 1980. "Time consistency and optimal government policies in perfect foresight equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 183-212, April.
  5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Gaowang Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Inflation Aversion and the Optimal Inflation Tax," CEMA Working Papers 480, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  7. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
  8. Friedman, Milton, 1971. "Government Revenue from Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 846-56, July-Aug..
  9. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Heng-fu Zou & Liutang Gong & Xinsheng Zeng, 2011. "Inflation Aversion," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 12(1), pages 1-11, May.
  12. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1972. "The structure of indirect taxation and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 97-119, April.
  13. Wang, Gaowang & Zou, Heng-fu, 2011. "Inflation aversion and macroeconomic policy in a perfect foresight monetary model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1802-1807, July.
  14. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
  15. Drazen, Allan, 1979. "The optimal rate of inflation revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 231-248, April.
  16. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  17. 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.
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