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Central bank responsibility, seigniorage, and welfare

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  • Joseph H. Haslag
  • Joydeep Bhattacharya

Abstract

Historically, countries have relied on seigniorage. In this paper, we explore a set of features in which a benevolent government will rely on seigniorage. We use a simple overlapping generations model with return-dominated money. Money is valued because of a reserve requirement. The government has to raise a fixed amount of revenue solely for the purposes of making transfers to the old. It has two revenue-generating options: lump-sum taxes (money creation) under the control of the treasury (central bank). We restrict the amount of seigniorage collected to be nonnegative and require that the government's budget constraint be satisfied on a per-period basis. Our question is, Can we find stationary monetary competitive equilibria that are welfare maxima, given that the money stock cannot contract? Computational experiments reveal, somewhat surprisingly, that the answer is yes. Indeed, in our setup, benevolent governments may require that at least part, if not all, of the revenue be raised via money creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph H. Haslag & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 1999. "Central bank responsibility, seigniorage, and welfare," Working Papers 9909, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:99-09
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/1999/wp9909.pdf
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    1. Freeman, Scott, 1993. "Resolving Differences over the Optimal Quantity of Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(4), pages 801-811, November.
    2. Freeman, Scott, 1987. "Reserve requirements and optimal seigniorage," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 307-314, March.
    3. Joseph H. Haslag & Eric R. Young, 1998. "Money Creation, Reserve Requirements, and Seigniorage," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 677-698, July.
    4. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
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    Keywords

    Banking structure ; Banks and banking; Foreign;

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