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Hyperbolic Discounting and Positive Optimal Inflation

Listed author(s):
  • Graham, Liam

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Snower, Dennis J.

    ()

    (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)

The Friedman rule states that steady-state welfare is maximized when there is deflation at the real rate of interest. Recent work by Khan et al (2003) uses a richer model but still finds deflation optimal. In an otherwise standard new Keynesian model we show that, if households have hyperbolic discounting, small positive rates of inflation can be optimal. In our baseline calibration, the optimal rate of inflation is 2.1% and remains positive across a wide range of calibrations.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5694.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5694
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  1. Liam Graham & Dennis J. Snower, 2008. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 427-448, 03.
  2. Groth, Charlotta & Johansson, Asa, 2004. "Bargaining structure and nominal wage flexibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1349-1365, December.
  3. Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Matthew Weinberg, 2009. "Heterogeneity in Intra-monthly Consumption Patterns, Self-Control, and Savings at Retirement," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 163-189, August.
  4. Ascari, Guido, 1998. "Superneutrality Of Money In Staggered Wage-Setting Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 383-400, September.
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  16. Gomme, Paul, 1993. "Money and growth revisited : Measuring the costs of inflation in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-77, August.
  17. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
  18. David Card, 1983. "Cost-of-Living Escalators in Major Union Contracts," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 34-48, October.
  19. Roberto M. Billi & George A. Kahn, 2008. "What is the optimal inflation rate?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-28.
  20. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
  21. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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