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Seigniorage, inflation, and reputation


  • Grossman, Herschel I.
  • Van Huyck, John B.


This paper derives a reputational equilibrum for inflation in a model in which the government obtains valuable seigniorage by issuing fiat money in echange for real resources. One insightful result is that , with contemporaneous perceptionof actual government behavior and immediate adjustment of real cash balences to new information , the Friedman elasticity solution for maximal seigniorage is the reputatoinal equilibrium. More generally , the analysis shows that the objective of maximal seigniorage produces an equilibrium inflation rate equal either to a generalization of the Friedman elasticity solution or to the rate at which the government discounts future seigniorage adjusted for the growth rate, whichever is larger. Thus, the model formalizes the conjecture that epizodes of inflation rates in excess of the Friedman solution are attributable to high discounts rates for future seigniorage. Adding aversion to high expected inflation to the model, this analysis also rationalizes the observation that inflation rates are usually less than Friedman's elasticity solution.
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Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Herschel I. & Van Huyck, John B., 1986. "Seigniorage, inflation, and reputation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 21-31, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:18:y:1986:i:1:p:21-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert J. Barro, 1983. "Inflationary Finance under Discretion and Rules," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 1-16, February.
    2. 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.
    3. Nichols, Donald A, 1974. "Some Principles of Inflationary Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 423-430, Part I, M.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Dynamic Seigniorage Theory: An Exploration," NBER Working Papers 2869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Herschel I. Grossman & Suk Jae Noh, 1988. "Proprietary Public Finance, Political Competition, and Reputation," NBER Working Papers 2696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1997. "A framework for the analysis of moderate inflations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 45-65, June.
    4. Grossman, Herschel I., 1991. "Monetary economics : A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 323-345, October.

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