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Seigniorage in a neoclassical economy: some computational results

  • Joseph H. Haslag
  • Joydeep Bhattacharya

In this paper, we consider a government that executes a permanent open market sale. The government is forced to eventually use money creation to pay for the debt's expenses, choosing between changing either the money growth rate (the inflation-tax rate) or the reserve requirement ratio (the inflation-tax base). We first derive conditions under which each of the two second-best alternative policies are feasible in an economy with neoclassical production. Armed with these conditions, we ask the following question: Which monetary policy action is better in a welfare sense? With neoclassical production, monetary policy potentially has long-run effects on the capital stock and the marginal product of capital. The curvature of the production function is crucial. The computational experiments show, somewhat surprisingly, that a permanent increase in government bonds is financed by either lower reserve requirements or faster money growth. Accordingly, steady-state welfare for all generations is higher under the reserve-requirement policy.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 9901.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:99-01
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  1. Bryant, John & Wallace, Neil, 1980. "Open-Market Operations in a Model of Regulated, Insured Intermediaries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 146-73, February.
  2. Easterly, William R & Mauro, Paolo & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1995. "Money Demand and Seigniorage-Maximizing Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 583-603, May.
  3. Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
  4. 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.
  5. Bruce Smith & J. Bhattacharya & Mark Guzman, 1998. "Some Even More Unpleasant Monetarist Arithmetic," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 596-623, August.
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