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Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World

  • Michael Woodford

    (Department of Economics, Princeton University)

This paper shows that it is possible to analyze equilibrium inflation determination without any reference to either money supply or demand, as long as one specifies policy in terms of a "Wicksellian" interest-rate feedback rule. The paper's central result is an approximation theorem, showing the existence, for a simple monetary model, of a well-behaved "cashless limit" in which the money balances held to facilitate transactions become negligible. Inflation in the cashless limit is shown to be a function of the gap between the "natural rate" of interest, determined by the supply of goods and opportunities for intertemporal substitution, and a time-varying parameter of the interest-rate rule indicating the tightness of monetary policy. Inflation can be completely stabilized, in principle, by adjusting the policy parameter to track variation in the natural rate. Under such a regime, instability of money demand has little effect upon equilibrium inflation and need not be monitored by the central bank. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1997.0006
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 173-219

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:1:y:1998:i:1:p:173-219
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  1. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
  2. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 675-87, August.
  4. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
  5. Sumner, Scott, 1995. "The Impact of Futures Price Targeting on the Precision and Credibility of Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 89-106, February.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  7. Sims, Christopher A, 1994. "A Simple Model for Study of the Determination of the Price Level and the Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 381-99.
  8. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1984. "Money and Interest in Cash-In-Advance Economy," Discussion Papers 628, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A price target for U.S. monetary policy? Lessons from the experience with money growth targets," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
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  12. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 1997-71, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  14. Robert E. Hall & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Nominal Income Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 71-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "Is there a role for monetary aggregates in the conduct of monetary policy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 279-304, October.
  16. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  17. Mervyn King, 1994. "Monetary policy in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 109-28, August.
  18. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Working Papers 9304, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  20. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Forward-Looking Behavior and the Stability of a Conventional Monetary Policy Rule," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1060-70, November.
  21. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  22. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  24. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
  25. Wicksell, Knut, 1907. "The Influence of the Rate of Interest on Prices," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17, pages 213-220.
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