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The value of inside and outside money: expanded version

  • James Bullard
  • Bruce D. Smith

We study dynamic economies in which agents may have incentives to hold both privately-issued (a.k.a. inside) and publicly-issued (a.k.a. outside) circulating liabilities as part of an equilibrium. Our analysis emphasizes spatial separation and limited communication as frictions that motivate monetary exchange. We isolate conditions under which a combination of inside and outside money does and does not allow the economy to achieve a first-best allocation of resources. We also study the extent to which the use of private circulating liabilities alone, or the use of public circulating liabilities alone, can address the frictions that lead to monetary exchange. We identify conditions under which both types of liabilities are essential to efficiency. However, even when these conditions are satisfied, we show that political economy considerations may lead to a prohibition against private circulating liabilities. Finally, we analyze the consequences of such a prohibition for the determinacy of equilibrium, and for endogenously arising volatility.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2001-011.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2001-011
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  1. Williamson, S.D., 1998. "Private Money," Working Papers 98-09, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  2. Costas Azariadis & James Bullard & Lee E. Ohanian, 1998. "Complex eigenvalues and trend-reverting fluctuations," Staff Report 255, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Bruce D. Smith & Warren E. Weber, 1998. "Private money creation and the Suffolk Banking System," Working Papers 591, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Temzelides, Ted & Williamson, Stephen D., 2001. "Private money, settlement, and discounts," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 85-108, June.
  5. Stacey L. Schreft, 1997. "Looking forward : the role for government in regulating electronic cash," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 59-84.
  6. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Inside and outside money as alternative media of exchange," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 443-468.
  7. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  8. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-71, December.
  9. Williamson, Stephen D., 1992. "Laissez-faire banking and circulating media of exchange," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 134-167, June.
  10. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
  11. Champ, B. & Snith, B.D. & Williamson, D.S., 1991. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 292, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Burdett, Kenneth & Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 2001. "Cigarette Money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 99(1-2), pages 117-142, July.
  13. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  14. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1982. "The Real-Bills Doctrine versus the Quantity Theory: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1212-36, December.
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