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Heterogeneity, Redistribution, and the Friedman Rule

  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep
  • Haslag, Joseph
  • Martin, Antoine

We study several popular monetary models which generate a non-degenerate stationary distribution of money holdings. Across these environments, our principal finding is as follows: a monetary policy that sets long run nominal interest rates to zero (the Friedman rule) does not typically maximize ex-post social welfare if it can generate redistributive effects. An increase in the rate of growth of the money supply has the standard partial-equilibrium effect of making money a less desirable asset thereby decreasing the utility of all moneyholders. A second, general-equilibrium effect, is a transfer from one type of agent to the other. For each environment, when the rate of growth of the money supply is not too high, an increase in the latter away from the Friedman rule may produce a transfer effect that dominates the partial equilibrium effect thereby rendering the Friedman rule ex-post suboptimal.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 11371.

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Date of creation: 09 Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Economic Review, May 2005, vol. 46 no. 2, pp. 305-729
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11371
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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  3. 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.
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  9. Joe Haslag & Antoine Martin, 2003. "Optimality of the Friedman Rule in Overlapping Generations Model with Spatial Separation," Working Papers 0306, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
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  18. 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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  21. 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.
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