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Monetary policy arithmetic: some recent contributions

Author

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  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Joseph H. Haslag

Abstract

Sargent and Wallace (1981) study the feasibility of a bond-financed increase in government spending. In their "unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Sargent and Wallace show how using bonds to finance a permanent deficit today may necessitate faster money growth in the future, yielding higher inflation today. The logic behind this spectacular result is predicated on the satisfaction of one crucial condition: the real interest rate offered on bonds has to exceed the real growth rate of the economy. Joydeep Bhattacharya and Joseph Haslag review some recent contributions to the literature on the subject in light of the contentious nature of this stricture. The authors derive the unpleasant monetarist arithmetic result by employing a weaker set of necessary conditions than those Sargent-Wallace use. In addition, the authors consider the possibility of financing the deficit by changing reserve requirements instead of raising money growth rates. Interestingly, a pleasant version of the financing arithmetic emerges.

Suggested Citation

  • Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag, 1999. "Monetary policy arithmetic: some recent contributions," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 26-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1999:i:qiii:p:26-36
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael R. Darby, 1984. "Some pleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
    2. Joseph H. Haslag & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 1999. "Seigniorage in a neoclassical economy: some computational results," Working Papers 9901, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Noritaka Kudoh, 2002. "Tight money policies and inflation revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 185-217, May.
    4. Bruce Smith & J. Bhattacharya & Mark Guzman, 1998. "Some Even More Unpleasant Monetarist Arithmetic," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 596-623, August.
    5. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
    6. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    7. Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1981. "Some unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
    8. Andrew B. Abel, 1992. "Can the government roll over its debt forever?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-18.
    9. Preston J. Miller & Thomas J. Sargent, 1984. "A reply to Darby," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
    10. Champ,Bruce & Freeman,Scott & Haslag,Joseph, 2016. "Modeling Monetary Economies," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781316508671, April.
    11. Freeman, Scott, 1987. "Reserve requirements and optimal seigniorage," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 307-314, March.
    12. Thomas M. Supel & Richard M. Todd, 1984. "Should currency be priced like cars?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
    13. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2000. "The fiscal theory of the price level," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 22-32.
    14. Marco Espinosa & Steven Russell, 1998. "Can a Policy of Higher Inflation Reduce Real Interests in the Long Run?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 92-103, February.
    15. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kudoh, Noritaka, 2005. "Monetary policy arithmetic for a deflationary economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 161-167, May.
    2. Prasad, A & Khundrakpam, Jeevan Kumar, 2003. "Government Deficit and Inflation in India," MPRA Paper 51106, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2003.
    3. Atsumasa Kondo & Koji Kitaura, 2009. "Does Deflation Impinge On A Government'S Fiscal Standing?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 651-656, December.
    4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction with Various Degrees and Types of Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2012. "Monetary Policy Facing Fiscal Indiscipline under Generalized Timing of Actions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(3), pages 393-431, September.
    6. Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2008. "Fiscal Rigidity In A Monetary Union: The Calvo Timing And Beyond," CAMA Working Papers 2008-22, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag, 2000. "Reliance, composition, and inflation," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 20-28.
    8. Michal Jurek & Pawel Marszalek, 2015. "Policy alternatives for the relationship between ECB monetary and financial policies and new member states," Working papers wpaper112, Financialisation, Economy, Society & Sustainable Development (FESSUD) Project.
    9. Andrew HUGHES HALLETT & Jan LIBICH & Petr STEHLÍK, 2014. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction with Various Degrees of Commitment," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 64(1), pages 2-29, February.

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    Keywords

    Monetary policy;

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