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Speculative hyperinflations in a maximizing models: can we rule them out?

  • Maurice Obstfeld
  • Kenneth Rogoff

This paper uses an infinite-horizon model based on individual maximizing behavior to study whether explosive price-level paths unrelated to monetary growth--speculative hyperinflations--can be equilibrium paths under rational expectations. In a pure fiat money regime, speculative hyperinflations can be excluded only through severe restrictions on individual preferences; but when the government fractionally backs the currency by guaranteeing a minimal real redemption value for money, speculative hyperinflations are impossible, even if agents are not completely certain that they can redeem their money in any given period. The analysis also confirms that implosive price-level paths and divergent paths for capital asset prices are not equilibria under either monetary regime.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1981/195/ifdp195.pdf
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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 195.

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Date of creation: 1981
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:195
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  1. Kouri, Pentti J K, 1976. " The Exchange Rate and the Balance of Payments in the Short Run and in the Long Run: A Monetary Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(2), pages 280-304.
  2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1973. "Duality Theory for Infinite Horizon Convex Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(7), pages 783-789, March.
  3. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "After Keynesian macroeconomics," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
  4. Jo Anna Gray, 1982. "Dynamic instability in rational expectations models: an attempt to clarify," International Finance Discussion Papers 197, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Fischer, Stanley, 1974. "Money and the Production Function," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 517-33, December.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1979. "On Models of Money and Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(1), pages 83-103, February.
  7. Anonymous, 1978. "Gasohol from Grain- The Economic Issues," Economics Statistics and Cooperative Services (ESCS) Reports 142842, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  8. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
  9. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1978. "On the indeterminacy of interest rates and wages with perfect foresight," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 321-337, December.
  10. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1973. "The Stability of Models of Money and Growth with Perfect Foresight," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1043-48, November.
  11. Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1980. "The Role of Trade Flows in Exchange Rate Determination: A Rational Expectations Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1148-58, December.
  12. Brock, William A., 1975. "A simple perfect foresight monetary model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 133-150, April.
  13. Brock, William A. & Scheinkman, J. A., 1979. "Some Remarks on Monetary Policy in an Overlapping Generations Model," Working Papers 246, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  14. Maurice Obstfeld, 1981. "Inflation, Real Interest, and the Determinacy of Equilibrium in an Optimizing Framework," NBER Working Papers 0723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-70, August.
  16. Taylor, John B, 1977. "Conditions for Unique Solutions in Stochastic Macroeconomic Models with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(6), pages 1377-85, September.
  17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1975. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1113-44, December.
  18. Salant, Stephen W, 1983. "The Vulnerability of Price Stabilization Schemes to Speculative Attack," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-38, February.
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