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Can government gold be put to better use?: Qualitative and quantitative policies

Author

Listed:
  • Dale W. Henderson
  • John S. Irons
  • Stephen W. Salant
  • Sebastian Thomas

Abstract

Gold has both private uses (depletion uses and service uses) and government uses. It can be obtained from mines with high extraction costs (about $300 per ounce) or from above ground stocks with no extraction costs. Governments still store massive stocks of gold. Making government gold available for private uses through some combination of sales and loans raises welfare from private uses by removing two types of inefficiencies. For given private uses, there is a production inefficiency if costless government gold is withheld while costly gold is taken from mines. There are use inefficiencies if costless government gold is withheld from private users. We assess both qualitatively and quantitatively the gain in welfare and its distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Dale W. Henderson & John S. Irons & Stephen W. Salant & Sebastian Thomas, 1997. "Can government gold be put to better use?: Qualitative and quantitative policies," International Finance Discussion Papers 582, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:582
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen W. Salant & Dale W. Henderson, 1976. "Market anticipations, government policy, and the price of gold," International Finance Discussion Papers 81, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. David Levhari & Robert S. Pindyck, 1981. "The Pricing of Durable Exhaustible Resources," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(3), pages 365-377.
    3. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1984. "Gold Monetization and Gold Discipline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 90-107, February.
    4. Malueg, David A & Solow, John L, 1990. "Monopoly Production of Durable Exhaustible Resources," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(225), pages 29-47, February.
    5. Marion B. Stewart, 1980. "Monopoly and the Intertemporal Production of a Durable Extractable Resource," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 99-111.
    6. Salant, Stephen W & Henderson, Dale W, 1978. "Market Anticipations of Government Policies and the Price of Gold," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 627-648, August.
    7. Karp, Larry S, 1993. "Monopoly Extraction of a Durable Non-renewable Resource: Failure of the Coase Conjecture," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(237), pages 1-11, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Henderson, Dale W. & Salant, Stephen W. & Irons, John S. & Thomas, Sebastian, 2007. "The benefits of expediting government gold sales," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 235-258.

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    Keywords

    Gold ; International finance;

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