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Who is Afraid of the Friedman Rule?

In this paper, we explore the connection between optimal monetary policy and heterogeneity among agents. We study a standard monetary economy with two types of agents in which the stationary distribution of money holdings is non-degenerate. Sans type-specific fiscal policy, we show that the zero-nominal-interest rate policy (the Friedman rule) does not maximize type-specific welfare; it may not maximize aggregate social welfare either. Indeed, one or, more surprisingly, both types may benefit if the central bank deviates from the Friedman rule. Our results suggest a positive explanation for why central banks around the world do not implement the Friedman rule.

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File URL: http://economics.missouri.edu/working-papers/2004/wp0421_haslag.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Missouri in its series Working Papers with number 0421.

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Length: 29 pgs.
Date of creation: 21 Dec 2004
Date of revision: 21 Dec 2004
Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0421
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Web page: http://economics.missouri.edu/

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  1. Levine, David K., 1991. "Asset trading mechanisms and expansionary policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 148-164, June.
  2. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
  3. Albanesi, Stefania, 2003. "Optimal and Time-Consistent Monetary and Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 3713, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Joydeep Bhattacharya & Joseph H. Haslag & Antoine Martin, 2005. "Heterogeneity, Redistribution, And The Friedman Rule," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 437-454, 05.
  6. Gahvari, Firouz, 1988. "Lump-sum taxation and the superneutrality and optimum quantity of money in life cycle growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 339-367, August.
  7. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "Money as a mechanism in a Bewley economy," Working Paper Series WP-02-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Beatrix Paal & Bruce D. Smith, 2001. "The sub-optimality of the Friedman rule and the optimum quantity of money," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0113, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  9. Correia, Isabel & Teles, Pedro, 1996. "Is the Friedman rule optimal when money is an intermediate good?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 223-244, October.
  10. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "The Liquidity Trap, The Real Balance Effect, And The Friedman Rule ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1271-1301, November.
  11. 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 402-17, June.
  12. Chris Edmond, 2002. "Self-Insurance, Social Insurance, and the Optimum Quantity of Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 141-147, May.
  13. Carlos E. da Costa & Iván Werning, 2008. "On the Optimality of the Friedman Rule with Heterogeneous Agents and Nonlinear Income Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 82-112, 02.
  14. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
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