IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Real Balance Effect


  • Peter N. Ireland


This paper extends a conventional cash-in-advance model to incorporate a real balance effect of the kind described by de Scitovszky, Haberler, Pigou, and Patinkin. When operative, this real balance effect eliminates the liquidity trap, allowing the central bank to control the price level even when the nominal interest rate hits its lower bound of zero. Curiously, the same mechanism that gives rise to the real balance effect also implies that monetary policies have distributional consequences that make some agents much worse off under a zero nominal interest rate than they are when the nominal interest rate is positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter N. Ireland, 2001. "The Real Balance Effect," NBER Working Papers 8136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8136
    Note: ME

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Ireland, 2003. "Implementing the Friedman Rule," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 120-134, January.
    2. 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..
    3. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1998. "Zero nominal interest rates: why they're good and how to get them," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-10.
    4. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-748, September.
    5. McCallum, Bennett T., 1986. "Some issues concerning interest rate pegging, price level determinacy, and the real bills doctrine," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 135-160, January.
    6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
    7. Weil, Philippe, 1991. "Is Money Net Wealth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 37-53, February.
    8. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
    9. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1067-1152 Elsevier.
    10. Michael Mussa, 2000. "Summary panel: reflections on monetary policy at low inflation," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 1100-1106.
    11. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1999. "How should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 195-259.
    12. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    13. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-417, June.
    14. William C. Whitesell, 1988. "Age heterogeneity and the Tobin effect with infinite horizons," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-293, June.
    16. Cohen, Daniel, 1985. "Inflation, wealth and interest rates in an intertemporal optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-85, July.
    17. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-220, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Fujiwara, Ippei, 2006. "Evaluating monetary policy when nominal interest rates are almost zero," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 434-453, September.
    2. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Haslag, Joseph & Russell, Steven, 2005. "The role of money in two alternative models: When is the Friedman rule optimal, and why?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1401-1433, November.
    3. Iwamoto, Yasushi, 2005. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy to Escape from a Deflationary Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 23(1), pages 1-46, February.
    4. Mauro Boianovsky, 2003. "The IS-LM Model and the Liquidity Trap Concept: from Hicks to Krugman," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] a13, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Dario Cziráky & Max Gillman, 2006. "Money Demand in an EU Accession Country: A VECM Study of Croatia," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 105-127, April.
    6. Berger, Helge & Harjes, Thomas & Stavrev, Emil, 2008. "The ECB's monetary analysis revisited," Discussion Papers 2008/14, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    7. Paul Hiebert & Javier J. Pérez & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Debt reduction and automatic stabilisation," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/12, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    8. C.A. Ullersma, 2001. "The Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness: a Survey," MEB Series (discontinued) 2001-9, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
    9. Sunirand, Pojanart, 2003. "The role of money in the transmission mechanism of monetary policy: evidence from Thailand," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24850, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. repec:wsi:gjexxx:v:01:y:2012:i:01:n:s225136121250005x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. William A Barnett & Unja Chae & John W Keating, 2012. "Forecast Design In Monetary Capital Stock Measurement," Global Journal of Economics (GJE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 1-53.
    12. Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The future of monetary aggregates in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1029-1059, July.
    13. Claus Brand & Hans-Eggert Reimers & Franz Seitz, 2003. "Narrow Money and the Business Cycle: Theoretical aspects and euro area evdence," Macroeconomics 0303012, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8136. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.