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Helicopter Money: A Preliminary Appraisal


  • Agarwal, Samiksha
  • Chakraborty, Lekha


Helicopter money is a monetary policy tool to boost spending levels in an economy experiencing low nominal demand, deflation and high debt to GDP ratio. It is the monetary financing of fiscal deficits, in a strict sense of “seigniorage”, in order to reach the inflation and the growth targets in the economy. We critically review in this paper how helicopter money is carried out through direct transfers to the public, or through a “fiscal stimulus” (tax cut or public expenditure boost). Helicopter drops are gaining relevance today in context of the non-efficaciousness of orthodox monetary policy tools like Quantitative Easing (QE) and the persistently low demand levels in the economies. However, the political economy determinants, the macroeconomic policy context and the fiscal-monetary policy linkages are crucial in the effective implementation of helicopter money and it is indeed challenging. When fiscal consolidation strategies adopt public expenditure compression rather than tax buoyancy to reach the rule-based fiscal policies and in turn its adverse consequences on economic growth - which has started showing up in growth downturn - a re-look into the plausible financing patterns of deficit and new monetary policy tools is refreshing.

Suggested Citation

  • Agarwal, Samiksha & Chakraborty, Lekha, 2019. "Helicopter Money: A Preliminary Appraisal," MPRA Paper 97897, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:97897

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Maurice Obstfeld, 2005. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 110-137, March.
    2. Buiter, Willem H., 2014. "The simple analytics of helicopter money: Why it works - always," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-51.
    3. Galí, Jordi, 2014. "The Effects of a Money-Financed Fiscal Stimulus," CEPR Discussion Papers 10165, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Jordi Galí, 2014. "The Effects of a Money-Financed Fiscal Stimulus," Working Papers 786, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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    More about this item


    Helicopter money; Quantitative easing; Demand; Fiscal stimulus;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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