IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The sub-optimality of the Friedman rule and the optimum quantity of money

  • Beatrix Paal

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Landau Building Stanford University, Stanford)

  • Bruce D. Smith

    ()

    (Department of Economics,University of Texas, Austin)

According to the logic of the Friedman rule, the opportunity cost of holding money faced by private agents should equal the social cost of creating additional fiat money. Thus nominal rates of interest should be zero. This logic has been shown to be correct in a number of contexts, with and without various distortions. In practice, however, economies that have confronted very low nominal rates of interest over extended periods have been viewed as performing very poorly rather than as performing very well. Examples include the U.S. during the Great Depression, or Japan during the last decade. Indeed economies experiencing low nominal interest rates have often suffered severe and long-lasting recessions. This observation suggests that the logic of the Friedman rule needs to be reassessed. We consider the possibility that low nominal rates of interest imply that fiat money is a good asset. As a result, agents are induced to hold an excessive amount of savings in the form of money, and a suboptimal amount of savings in other, more productive forms. Hence low nominal interest rates can lead to low rates of investment and, in an endogenous growth model, to low rates of real growth. This is a cost of following the Friedman rule. Benefits of following the Friedman rule include the possibility that banks will provide considerable liquidity, reducing the cost of transactions that require cash. With this trade-off, we describe conditions under which the Friedman rule is and is not optimal. Finally, our model predicts that excessively high rates of inflation, and nominal rates of interest, are detrimental to growth. This implication of the model, which is consistent with observation, in turn implies that there is a nominal rate of interest that maximizes an economy’s real growth rate. We characterize this interest rate, and we describe when it is and is not optimal to drive the nominal rate of interest to its growth maximizing level.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econ.core.hu/doc/dp/dp/paal.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0113.

as
in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0113
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1112 Budapest, Budaorsi ut 45.
Phone: (+36-1) 309-2652
Fax: (36-1) 319-3136
Web page: http://econ.core.hu

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Financial markets in development, and the development of financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 145-181, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Levine, David K., 1991. "Asset trading mechanisms and expansionary policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 148-164, June.
  4. Mulligan, Casey B & Sala-I-Martin, Xavier X, 1997. "The Optimum Quantity of Money: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 687-715, November.
  5. Schreft, Stacey L & Smith, Bruce D, 1998. "The Effects of Open Market Operations in a Model of Intermediation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 519-50, July.
  6. King, Robert G & Levine, Ross, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-37, August.
  7. Schreft, Stacey L. & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Money, Banking, and Capital Formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 157-182, March.
  8. Bullard, James & Keating, John W., 1995. "The long-run relationship between inflation and output in postwar economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 477-496, December.
  9. Sangmok Choi & Bruce D. Smith & John H. Boyd, 1996. "Inflation, financial markets and capital formation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 9-35.
  10. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimality of the Friedman Rule in Economies with Distorting Taxes," NBER Working Papers 4443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1995. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1517, The World Bank.
  12. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  13. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Huybens, Elisabeth & Guzman, Mark G. & Smith, Bruce D., 1997. "Monetary, Fiscal, and Bank Regulatory Policy in a Simple Monetary Growth Model," Staff General Research Papers 5136, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. Champ, B. & Smith, B.D., 1991. "Currency Elasticity and Banking Panics: theory and Evidence," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9109, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  15. Stephen D. Williamson, 1994. "Sequential markets and the suboptimality of the Friedman rule," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Apr.
  16. Ireland, Peter N, 1996. "The Role of Countercyclical Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 704-23, August.
  17. Bhattacharya, Joydeep, et al, 1997. "Monetary, Fiscal, and Reserve Requirement Policy in a Simple Monetary Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 321-50, May.
  18. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
  19. Smith, B.D., 1988. "Interest On Reserves And Sunspot Equilibria: Friedman'S Proposal Reconsidered," RCER Working Papers 119, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  20. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
  21. Marco Espinosa & Chong K. Yip, 2000. "Government Financing in an Endogenous Growth Model with Financial Market Restrictions," Departmental Working Papers _118, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  22. Bencivenga, Valerie R & Smith, Bruce D, 1992. "Deficits, Inflation, and the Banking System in Developing Countries: The Optimal Degree of Financial Repression," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(4), pages 767-90, October.
  23. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-71, December.
  24. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per, 1993. "Money and Insurance in a Turnpike Environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 19-34, January.
  25. A. Senhadji Semlali & Mohsin S. Khan, 2000. "Threshold Effects in the Relationship Between Inflation and Growth," IMF Working Papers 00/110, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Mitsui, Toshihide & Watanabe, Shinichi, 1989. "Monetary growth in a turnpike environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 123-137, July.
  27. Bryant, John & Wallace, Neil, 1984. "A Price Discrimination Analysis of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 279-88, April.
  28. Azariadis, Costas & Smith, Bruce D, 1996. " Private Information, Money, and Growth: Indeterminacy, Fluctuations, and the Mundell-Tobin Effect," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 309-32, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Canadian Macro Study Group

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Adrienn Foldi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.