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The Ideal Inflation Indexed Bond and Irving Fisher's Impatience Theory of Interest in an Overlapping Generations World

Irving Fisher long advocated inflation indexed bonds. I prove in the context of a multicommodity CAPM world that the best welfare improving bond pays the minimum money needed to achieve the same utility, and not the minimum needed to buy an ideal commodity bundle. Irving Fisher also developed and advocated the impatience theory of interest. But in OLG economies, the rate of interest is determined by population growth, not impatience. I reconcile this contradiction by proving that in stationary OLG economies with land, the interest rate at the unique steady state does depend on impatience. Indeed, the proposition that greater impatience creates higher interest rates holds more generally in OLG with land than in Fisher's two-period model.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d14a/d1429.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1429.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Journal of Economics and Sociology (2005), 64(1): 257-306
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1429
Note: CFP 1111.
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
  2. Geanakoplos, John, 1990. "An introduction to general equilibrium with incomplete asset markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-38.
  3. John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 1989. "The Capital Asset Pricing Model as a General Equilibrium with Incomplete Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 913, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. 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.
  5. James Tobin, 1956. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 14, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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