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The Tobin effect and the Friedman rule

  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Joseph Haslag
  • Antoine Martin

This paper addresses whether the Friedman rule can be optimal in an economy in which the Tobin effect is operative. We present an overlapping generations economy with capital in which limited communication and stochastic relocation create an endogenous transaction role for fiat money. We assume a production function with a knowledge externality (Romer-style) that nests economies with endogenous growth (AK form) and those with no long-run growth (the Diamond model). With logarithmic utility, the "anti-Tobin effect" is operative, and the Friedman rule is optimal (that is, stationary-welfare-maximizing) regardless of whether or not there is long-run growth. Under the more general CRRA (constant relative risk aversion) form of preferences, we show that an operative anti-Tobin effect is a sufficient condition for the Friedman rule to be optimal. Also, contrary to models with linear storage technologies, our model shows that zero inflation is not optimal.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 224.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:224
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  1. Joe Haslag & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Steven Russell, 2003. "Understanding the Roles of Money, or When is the Friedman Rule Optimal, and Why?," Working Papers 0301, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  2. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag & Antoine Martin, 2004. "Heterogeneity, redistribution, and the Friedman rule," Research Working Paper RWP 04-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  4. Beatrix Paal & Bruce D. Smith, 2001. "The sub-optimality of the Friedman rule and the optimum quantity of money," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0113, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  5. Theodore Palivos, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Agents: Is There a Case for Inflation?," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 353, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Stacey L. Schreft & Bruce D. Smith, 1995. "The effects of open market operations in a model of intermediation and growth," Working Papers 562, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. David K. Levine, 1991. "Asset Trading Mechanisms and Expansionary Policy," Levine's Working Paper Archive 43, David K. Levine.
  8. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  9. Weiss, Laurence M, 1980. "The Effects of Money Supply on Economic Welfare in the Steady State," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 565-76, April.
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