IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Arseneau, 2004. "Optimal Inflation in an Open Economy," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 279, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:279

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
    2. 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.
    3. Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 1999. "The Optimal Inflation Tax," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), pages 325-346, April.
    4. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "Welfare and Macroeconomic Interdependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 421-445.
    5. Lane, Philip R., 2001. "The new open economy macroeconomics: a survey," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 235-266, August.
    6. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1995. "Exchange Rate Dynamics Redux," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 624-660, June.
    7. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "Sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-108, November.
    8. 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.).
    9. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
    10. Gianluca Benigno & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2003. "Price Stability in Open Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 743-764.
    11. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2002. "A simple approach to international monetary policy coordination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 177-196, June.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2003. "Common Currencies vs. Monetary Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 785-806.
    15. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
    16. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2003. "Commitment and the Adoption of a Common Currency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 119-142, February.
    17. Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "A primer on optimal monetary policy with staggered price-setting," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 27-52.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. David Arseneau, 2012. "Expectation traps in a new Keynesian open economy model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(1), pages 81-112, January.
    2. Cengiz, Gulfer & Cicek, Deniz & Kuzubas, Tolga Umut & Olcay, Nadide Banu & Saglam, Ismail, 2007. "A Monetary Union Model with Cash-in-Advance Constraints," MPRA Paper 4248, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Optimal Monetary Policy; Friedman Rule; Policy Coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:279. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.