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Who is afraid of the Friedman rule?

  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Joseph Haslag
  • Antoine Martin
  • Rajesh Singh

We explore the connection between optimal monetary policy and heterogeneity among agents. We utilize a standard monetary economy with two types of agents that differ in the marginal utility they derive from real money balances-a framework that produces a nondegenerate stationary distribution of money holdings. Without type-specific fiscal policy, we show that the zero-nominal-interest-rate policy (the Friedman rule) does not maximize type-specific welfare; further, it may not maximize aggregate ex ante social welfare. Indeed one or, more surprisingly, both types of agents may benefit if the central bank deviates from the Friedman rule.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 208.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:208
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  1. Chris Edmond, 2002. "Self-Insurance, Social Insurance, and the Optimum Quantity of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 141-147, May.
  2. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  3. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "The Liquidity Trap, The Real Balance Effect, And The Friedman Rule ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1271-1301, November.
  4. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag & Antoine Martin, 2005. "Heterogeneity, Redistribution, And The Friedman Rule," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 437-454, 05.
  5. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
  6. Beatrix Paal & Bruce D. Smith, 2013. "The sub-optimality of the Friedman rule and the optimum quantity of money," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 911-948, November.
  7. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "Money as a mechanism in a Bewley economy," Working Paper Series WP-02-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
  9. Gahvari, Firouz, 1988. "Lump-sum taxation and the superneutrality and optimum quantity of money in life cycle growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 339-367, August.
  10. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Staff Report 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Albanesi, Stefania, 2003. "Optimal and Time-Consistent Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 3713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Levine, David K., 1991. "Asset trading mechanisms and expansionary policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 148-164, June.
  13. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
  14. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
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