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Private and Public Circulating Liabilities

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  • Azariadis, Costas
  • Bullard, James
  • Smith, Bruce D.

Abstract

Changes in the legal and technological environment in the U.S. have created the possibility of private banknote issue, or its electronic equivalent. We wish to understand the implications of this possibility for economic performance. Accordingly, we construct and analyze a dynamic general equilibrium model in which privately-issued liabilities may circulate, either by themselves, or alongside a stock of outside money. In each case we provide results on the existence and multiplicity of equilibria, and we characterize local dynamics in a neighborhood of a steady state. Our results support Friedman's (1960) idea that circulating private liabilities as associated with endogenous (or "excess") volatility. But implementing Friedman's (1960) advice-the government should ban private issuance of close currency substitutes-causes significant inefficiency in our model. And implementing the polar opposite advice of Hayek (1976) and Fama (1980)-that the government should withdraw from currency issuance altogether in the presence of circulating private liabilities-also is often constrained suboptimal in our economies. Instead, our economies have both public and private circulating liabilities as part of an optimal monetary arrangement.
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  • Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James & Smith, Bruce D., 2001. "Private and Public Circulating Liabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 59-116, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:99:y:2001:i:1-2:p:59-116
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00975432, HAL.
    2. Sanches, Daniel, 2013. "On the welfare properties of fractional reserve banking," Working Papers 13-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 04 Feb 2013.
    3. David C. Mills, Jr, 2008. "Imperfect Monitoring And The Discounting Of Inside Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(3), pages 737-754, August.
    4. Giuseppe Mastromatteo & Luigi Ventura, 2007. "The origin of money: A survey of the contemporary literature," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 54(2), pages 195-224, June.
    5. Daniel Sanches, 2016. "On the Inherent Instability of Private Money," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 198-214, April.
    6. Daniel Sanches, 2016. "On The Welfare Properties Of Fractional Reserve Banking," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 935-954, August.
    7. Claudio Vitari, 2014. "Electronic currencies for purposive degrowth?," Working Papers hal-00975432, HAL.
    8. Li, Yiting, 2006. "Banks, private money, and government regulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 2067-2083, November.
    9. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2002. "Evil Is the Root of All Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 62-66, May.
    10. Cyril Monnet & Daniel R. Sanches, 2012. "Private liquidity and banking regulation," Working Papers 12-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    11. Holthausen, Cornelia & Monnet, Cyril, 2003. "Money and payments: a modern perspective," Working Paper Series 245, European Central Bank.
    12. Monnet, Cyril, 2002. "Optimal public money," Working Paper Series 0159, European Central Bank.

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