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The Role of Overlapping-Generations Models in Monetary Economics

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

The main arguments of this paper can be summarized as follows. (1) The overlapping-generations (OG) structure provides a useful framework for the analysis of macroeconomic issues involving intertemporal allocation. (2) As a "model of money," the basic OG setup -- which excludes cash-in-advance or money-in-the-utility-function (MIUF) features -- is inadequate and misleading because it neglects the medium-of-exchange property that is the distinguishing characteristic of money. (3) That this neglect obtains is verified by noting that, in contrast with an axiomatic "traditional presumption," the same aggregate leisure/consumption bundles are available in equilibria in which "money" is valued and valueless. (4) That the model may be misleading is demonstrated by examples in which three of its most striking properties --tenuousness of monetary equilibrium, optimality of zero money growth, and price level invariance to open-market exchanges -- disappear in the presence of modifications designed to reflect the medium-of-exchange property. (5) There is no compelling reason why cash-in-advance, MIUF, or other appendages should not be used in conjunction with the OG framework.

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  • Bennett T. McCallum, 1982. "The Role of Overlapping-Generations Models in Monetary Economics," NBER Working Papers 0989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0989
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    1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-237, April.
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    7. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
    8. Helpman, Elhanan & Sadka, Efraim, 1979. "Optimal Financing of the Government's Budget: Taxes, Bonds, or Money?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 152-160, March.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    10. Saving, Thomas R, 1971. "Transactions Costs and the Demand for Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 407-420, June.
    11. David Cass & Menahem E. Yaari, 1966. "A Re-examination of the Pure Consumption Loans Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 353-353.
    12. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1971. "The Uses of Money: Money in the Theory of an Exchange Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 784-805, December.
    13. Fischer, Stanley, 1974. "Money and the Production Function," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 517-533, December.
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