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Imperfect monitoring and the discounting of inside money

  • David C. Mills, Jr.

One of the fundamental questions concerning inside money is whether its issuers should be regulated and how. This paper evaluates the efficiency of one prevalent regulatory recommendation -- a requirement that private issuers redeem inside money on demand at par -- in a random-matching model of money where the issuers of inside money are only imperfectly monitored. I find that for sufficiently imperfect monitoring, a par redemption requirement leads to lower social welfare than if private money were redeemed at a discount. A central message of the paper is that if inside money and outside money are not perfect substitutes for one another, as is the case if there is sufficiently imperfect monitoring, a par redemption requirement may not be socially optimal because such a requirement effectively binds them to circulate as if they are. Such an outcome is a version of Gresham's law that bad money drives out good money.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-58.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-58
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  1. Williamson, Stephen D, 1999. "Private Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 469-91, August.
  2. Mills, David C., 2007. "A Model In Which Outside And Inside Money Are Essential," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 347-366, June.
  3. Marimon, Ramon & Nicolini, Juan Pablo & Teles, Pedro, 2003. "Inside-outside money competition," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1701-1718, November.
  4. James Bullard & Bruce D. Smith, 2001. "The value of inside and outside money," Working Papers 2000-027, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Shouyong Shi, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Working Papers 916, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Cavalcanti, Ricardo de O & Wallace, Neil, 1999. "Inside and Outside Money as Alternative Media of Exchange," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 443-57, August.
  7. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James & Smith, Bruce D., 2001. "Private and Public Circulating Liabilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 59-116, July.
  8. Rolnick, Arthur J. & Weber, Warren E., 1988. "Explaining the demand for free bank notes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 47-71, January.
  9. Arthur J. Rolnick & Bruce D. Smith & Warren E. Weber, 1998. "Lessons from a laissez-faire payments system: the Suffolk Banking System, 1825-58," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 105-116.
  10. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Wallace, Neil & Wright, Randall, 1996. "Coexistence of money and interest-bearing securities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 397-419, June.
  11. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "A model of private bank-note issue," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 104-136, January.
  12. Klein, Benjamin, 1974. "The Competitive Supply of Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 6(4), pages 423-53, November.
  13. King, Robert G., 1983. "On the economics of private money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 127-158.
  14. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  15. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1988. "Explaining the demand for free bank notes," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 21-35.
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