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A new perspective on the Gold Standard: Inflation as a population phenomenon

  • Joao Ricardo Faria

    (University of Texas at El Paso)

  • Peter McAdam

    (University of Surrey)

The purpose of this paper is to contribute a new model of the Gold Standard, focusing on the interaction between resource scarcity and demographics. In a dynamic micro-founded model we find that: i) prices and equilibrium gold holdings increase with population (a scale effect), but decrease with the population growth rate; ii) that the Gold Standard implies deflation unless extraction resources outstrip population growth; iii) there is no optimal quantity of money. The predictions of the model are examined using a structural VAR. Our results also shed light on debates about the viability of a return to the Gold Standard, and, more generally, on the interaction between policy variables and scarce resources.

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File URL: http://www.fahs.surrey.ac.uk/economics/discussion_papers/2012/DP04-12.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 0412.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:0412
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Web page: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/economics/
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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "Money and the Price Level under the Gold Standard," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(353), pages 13-33, March.
  2. Miguel Sidrauski, 1967. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 796.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1997. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Economic Performance: The Historical Record," NBER Working Papers 6201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul A. Samuelson, 1968. "What Classical and Neoclassical Monetary Theory Really was," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(1), pages 1-15, February.
  6. Kevin Dowd & Anthony A. Sampson, 1993. "A New Model of the Gold Standard," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 380-91, May.
  7. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon Lane & Angela Redish, 2004. "Good versus Bad Deflation: Lessons from the Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 10329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Allan H. Meltzer, 1983. "Monetary Reform in an Uncertain Environment," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 93-120, Spring.
  9. Philip Cagan, 1965. "Determinants and Effects of Changes in the Stock of Money, 1875–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number caga65-1.
  10. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
  12. Chappell, David & Dowd, Kevin, 1997. "A Simple Model of the Gold Standard," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 94-105, February.
  13. Wang, Ping & Yip, Chong K, 1992. "Alternative Approaches to Money and Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(4), pages 553-62, November.
  14. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2009. "Identifying the elasticity of substitution with biased technical change," Working Paper Series 1001, European Central Bank.
  15. Barsky, Robert B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Gibson's Paradox and the Gold Standard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 528-50, June.
  16. Eichengreen, Barry, 1996. "Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919-1939," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195101133, March.
  17. Gabriel Fagan & James R. Lothian & Paul D. Mcnelis, 2013. "Was The Gold Standard Really Destabilizing?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 231-249, 03.
  18. Kevin Dowd & Barry Harrison, 2000. "The Gibson paradox and the Gold Standard: evidence from the United Kingdom, 1821-1913," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(11), pages 711-713.
  19. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
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