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Optimal Inflation in an Open Economy

  • David M. Arseneau

This paper uses a two-country, monetary general equilibrium model with imperfect competition to study the optimal rate of inflation in an open economy. In contrast with the closed economy literature, when policy is set non-cooperatively in the open economy, the optimality of the Friedman rule -- setting the money growth rate such that the nominal interest rate goes to zero -- is not a general result. An optimizing monetary authority faces an incentive to use the inflation tax to gain a "beggar-thy-neighbor" advantage over the terms of trade. Strategic use of the inflation tax, however, results in a coordination failure that reduces overall welfare. International monetary cooperation helps to mitigate this coordination failure and, as a result, can lead to more efficient equilibria. An institutional arrangement such as a monetary union ensures the maximum gain from cooperation by restoring the optimality of the Friedman rule, placing the world economy at the pareto frontier

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 279.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:279
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  1. David Bowman & Brian M. Doyle, 2003. "New Keynesian, open-economy models and their implications for monetary policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 762, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  9. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Scholarly Articles 12491026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  11. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1997. "The optimal inflation tax," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2002. "The Need for International Policy Coordination: What's Old, What's New, What's Yet to Come?," NBER Working Papers 8765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2002. "A simple approach to international monetary policy coordination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 177-196, June.
  14. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimality of the Friedman Rule in Economies with Distorting Taxes," NBER Working Papers 4443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1991. "Optimal taxation and inflation in an open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 179-196.
  17. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1993. "Optimal monetary policies and policy interdependence in the world economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 227-248, June.
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