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The optimum quantity of money: theory and evidence

  • Casey B. Mulligan
  • Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin
  • Frederic S. Mishkin
  • Jonas D. M. Fisher

The authors' model for computing the Ramsey optimal inflation tax includes several models from the previous literature as special cases. The model highlights the various assumptions in that literature that have led to such different results, assumptions that relate to the interest and scale elasticities of money demand and how they vary with the interest rate, whether money is required to pay taxes, and the nature of transactions when interest rates are very low. Calibrating the model to a variety of empirical studies yields an optimal nominal interest rate of less than 1 percent per year, although that finding is sensitive to the calibration. Copyright 1997 by Ohio State University Press.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 687-724

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcpr:y:1997:p:687-724
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  1. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  2. King, Robert G., 1988. "Money demand in the United States: A quantitative review," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 169-172, January.
  3. Karni, Edi, 1974. "The Value of Time and the Demand for Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 6(1), pages 45-64, February.
  4. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
  5. Martin S. Feldstein, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Going from Low Inflation to Price Stability," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 123-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1996. "Adoption of Financial Technologies: Implications for Money Demand and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-99, July.
  8. Sala-i-Martin, X. & Mulligan, C.B., 1992. "U.S. Money Demand: Surprising Cross-Sectional Estimates," Papers 671, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Stokey, Nancy L, 1987. "Money and Interest in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 491-513, May.
  10. Guidotti, Pablo E. & Vegh, Carlos A., 1993. "The optimal inflation tax when money reduces transactions costs : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 189-205, April.
  11. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. 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.
  13. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1067-1152 Elsevier.
  14. Braun, R. Anton, 1994. "How large is the optimal inflation tax?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 201-214, October.
  15. Allan H. Meltzer, 1963. "The Demand for Money: A Cross-Section Study of Business Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 405-422.
  16. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. William J. Baumol, 1952. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: An Inventory Theoretic Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 545-556.
  18. Karni, Edi, 1973. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: Incorporation of the Value of Time into the Inventory Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1216-25, Sept.-Oct.
  19. Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "Scale Economies, the Value of Time, and the Demand for Money: Longitudinal Evidence from Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1061-79, October.
  20. Faig, Miquel, 1988. "Characterization of the optimal tax on money when it functions as a medium of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 137-148, July.
  21. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  22. Casey B. Mulligan, . "The Intertemporal Substitution of Work--What Does the Evidence Say?," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 95-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  23. Allan H. Meltzer, 1963. "The Demand for Money: The Evidence from the Time Series," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 219.
  24. Casey B. Mulligan, . "The Demand for Money by Firms: Some Additional Empirical Results," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-1, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  25. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
  26. Lucas, Robert E., 1988. "Money demand in the United States: A quantitative review," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 137-167, January.
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