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The Role of Overlapping-Generations Models in Monetary Economics

  • Bennett T. McCallum

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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0989.

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Date of creation: Sep 1982
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Publication status: published as Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, edited by Karl Brunner and Allan H. Meltzer, Vol. 18, pp. 9-44, (Spring 1983). Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0989
Note: EFG
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  1. Saving, Thomas R, 1971. "Transactions Costs and the Demand for Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 407-20, June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  6. Fischer, Stanley, 1974. "Money and the Production Function," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(4), pages 517-33, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Drazen, Allan, 1978. "Government Debt, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 505-16, June.
  9. 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 152-60, March.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Peled, Dan, 1982. "Informational diversity over time and the optimality of monetary equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 255-274, December.
  12. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  13. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-37, April.
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