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Zero nominal interest rates: why they're good and how to get them

Author

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  • Harold L. Cole
  • Narayana R. Kocherlakota

Abstract

This study shows that in a standard one-sector neoclassical growth model, in which money is introduced with a cash-in-advance constraint, zero nominal interest rates are optimal. Milton Friedman argued in 1969 that zero nominal rates are necessary for efficient resource allocation. This study shows that they are not only necessary but sufficient. The study also characterizes the monetary policies that will implement zero rates. The set of such policies is quite large. The only restriction these policies must satisfy is that asymptotically money shrinks at a rate no greater than the rate of discount.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1998. "Zero nominal interest rates: why they're good and how to get them," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1998:i:spr:p:2-10:n:v.22no.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Jean-Michel Grandmont & Yves Younes, 1972. "On the Role of Money and the Existence of a Monetary Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 355-372.
    3. 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.
    4. Townsend, Robert M., 1987. "Asset-return anomalies in a monetary economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 219-247, April.
    5. Cole, Harold L & Stockman, Alan C, 1992. "Specialization, Transactions Technologies, and Money Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 283-298, May.
    6. Lucas, Robert E., 1984. "Money in a theory of finance," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 9-46, January.
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    Keywords

    Interest rates;

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