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Optimal monetary policy and default


  • Lizarazo, Sandra
  • Da-Rocha, Jose-Maria


In a context in which individuals might default on their debts and subsequently be excluded from credit markets, holding money helps agents smooth their consumption during periods in which they cannot borrow. Therefore holding money makes the punishment to default less severe. In this context, by affecting money demand, monetary policy can affect incentives to default; determining optimal monetary policy can then be thought of as equivalent to choosing the optimal default rate. Since each economy might have a different optimal default rate, each economy might have a different optimal monetary policy different from the Friedman rule. Specifically, we compare the US to Colombia, using a model with idiosyncratic labor income risk and fiat money. Given differences in enforcement of debt contracts, and differences in income variability and persistence, we find that high inflation is costlier for developing countries compared to developed countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Lizarazo, Sandra & Da-Rocha, Jose-Maria, 2011. "Optimal monetary policy and default," MPRA Paper 31931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:31931

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Williamson, Stephen D., 2000. "Money and Dynamic Credit Arrangements with Private Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 248-279, April.
    7. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    8. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
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    13. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Michael Woodford, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money revisited," Working Papers 404, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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    More about this item


    Default; Inflation; Fiat Money; Friedman rule; Endogenous Borrowing Constraints; Precautionary Savings.;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money

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