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Author:Bhattacharya, Joydeep 

The Tobin effect and the Friedman rule

This paper addresses whether the Friedman rule can be optimal in an economy in which the Tobin effect is operative. We present an overlapping generations economy with capital in which limited communication and stochastic relocation create an endogenous transaction role for fiat money. We assume a production function with a knowledge externality (Romer-style) that nests economies with endogenous growth (AK form) and those with no long-run growth (the Diamond model). With logarithmic utility, the "anti-Tobin effect" is operative, and the Friedman rule is optimal (that is, ...
Staff Reports , Paper 224

Who is afraid of the Friedman rule?

We explore the connection between optimal monetary policy and heterogeneity among agents. We utilize a standard monetary economy with two types of agents that differ in the marginal utility they derive from real money balances-a framework that produces a nondegenerate stationary distribution of money holdings. Without type-specific fiscal policy, we show that the zero-nominal-interest-rate policy (the Friedman rule) does not maximize type-specific welfare; further, it may not maximize aggregate ex ante social welfare. Indeed one or, more surprisingly, both types of agents may benefit if the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 208

Why does overnight liquidity cost more than intraday liquidity?

In this paper, we argue that the observed difference in the cost of intraday and overnight liquidity is part of an optimal payments system design. In our environment, the interest charged on overnight liquidity affects output, while the cost of intraday liquidity only affects the distribution of resources between money holders and non-money holders. The low cost of intraday liquidity follows from the Friedman rule, but with respect to overnight liquidity, it is optimal to deviate from the Friedman rule. The cost differential simultaneously reduces the incentive to overuse money and encourages ...
Staff Reports , Paper 281

Working Paper
Heterogeneity, redistribution, and the Friedman rule

We study several popular monetary models which generate a nondegenerate stationary distribution of money holdings. Across these environments, our principal finding is as follows: a monetary policy that sets long run nominal interest rates to zero (the Friedman rule) does not typically maximize ex-post social welfare if it can generate redistributive effects. An increase in the rate of growth of the money supply has the standard partial-equilibrium effect of making money a less desirable asset thereby decreasing the utility of all moneyholders. A second, general-equilibrium effect, is a ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 04-01

Working Paper
Central bank responsibility, seigniorage, and welfare

Historically, countries have relied on seigniorage. In this paper, we explore a set of features in which a benevolent government will rely on seigniorage. We use a simple overlapping generations model with return-dominated money. Money is valued because of a reserve requirement. The government has to raise a fixed amount of revenue solely for the purposes of making transfers to the old. It has two revenue-generating options: lump-sum taxes (money creation) under the control of the treasury (central bank). We restrict the amount of seigniorage collected to be nonnegative and require that the ...
Working Papers , Paper 9909

Working Paper
Seigniorage in a neoclassical economy: some computational results

In this paper, we consider a government that executes a permanent open market sale. The government is forced to eventually use money creation to pay for the debt's expenses, choosing between changing either the money growth rate (the inflation-tax rate) or the reserve requirement ratio (the inflation-tax base). We first derive conditions under which each of the two second-best alternative policies are feasible in an economy with neoclassical production. Armed with these conditions, we ask the following question: Which monetary policy action is better in a welfare sense? With neoclassical ...
Working Papers , Paper 9901

Journal Article
Reliance, composition, and inflation

In this article Joydeep Bhattacharya and Joseph Haslag explore the effect of fiscal policy actions on long-run prices and the inflation rate. They study a model economy in which the central bank is not independent. Indeed, the government explicitly relies on the central bank for a predetermined amount of its revenue. Despite the absence of independence, the central bank does unilaterally control the composition of government paper. Bhattacharya and Haslag show that changes in reliance and composition have long-run impacts on prices and inflation. They conduct two separate policy ...
Economic and Financial Policy Review , Issue Q IV , Pages 20-28

Journal Article
Monetary policy arithmetic: some recent contributions

Sargent and Wallace (1981) study the feasibility of a bond-financed increase in government spending. In their "unpleasant monetarist arithmetic," Sargent and Wallace show how using bonds to finance a permanent deficit today may necessitate faster money growth in the future, yielding higher inflation today. The logic behind this spectacular result is predicated on the satisfaction of one crucial condition: the real interest rate offered on bonds has to exceed the real growth rate of the economy. Joydeep Bhattacharya and Joseph Haslag review some recent contributions to the literature on ...
Economic and Financial Policy Review , Issue Q III , Pages 26-36