In "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Tobin suggests that risk aversion and expected utility maximization can provide a rigorous foundation for an equilibrium demand for money. In Tobin's model, money plays a risk reducing role in individual portfolios. This note considers whether a general equilibrium stochastic model can produce equilibrium yield distributions that allow money to play that role if money does not appear directly as an argument in the utility or production functions of the economy. The model examined, a stochastic production variant of Samuelson's model of overlapping generations, cannot produce such yield distributions.
Different conclusions about the effects of open market operations are reached even among economists using full employment and rational expectations models. I show that these can be attributed to different assumptions regarding (i) the concept of the deficit that is held fixed in the face of an open market operation, (ii) diversity among agents, and (iii) the features generating money demand. With regard to (iii), I argue that plausible ways of explaining the holding of low-return money preclude the kind of perfect credit markets needed to obtain Ricardian equivalence.
This paper was presented for the International Seminar in Public Economics, held in February 1984 at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
The money demand literature presents much conflicting evidence on this question. For example, Lucas (1988) reports unrestricted money demand regressions which seem to imply that long-run money demand elasticities are highly unstable across subsamples. At the same time, he also presents evidence from money demand regressions with the income elasticity restricted to unity which seem to suggest stability. We conduct a formal analysis which weighs these apparently conflicting facts to determine which hypothesis is more plausible; the hypothesis that money demand is stable, or the hypothesis that money demand is unstable. We find that the stability hypothesis is the more plausible one. Thus, according to our data set, the answer to the question in the title is "yes".
A random matching model with money is used to study the nominal yield on small denomination, bearer, safe, discount securities issued by the government. There is always one steady state with matured securities circulating at par and, for some parameters, another with them circulating at a discount. In the former, a necessary and sufficient condition for a positive nominal yield on not-yet-matured securities is exogenous discriminatory treatment of them by the government. In the latter, the post-maturity discount on securities induces a deeper pre-maturity discount even without such discriminatory treatment.
Many economists have worried about changes in the demand for money, since money demand shocks can affect output variability and have implications for monetary policy. This paper studies the theoretical implications of changes in money demand for the nonneutrality of money in the limited participation (liquidity) model and the predetermined (sticky) price model. In the liquidity model, we find that an important connection exists between the nonneutrality of money and the relative money demands of households and firms. This model predicts that the real effect of a money shock rose by 100 percent between 1952 and 1980, and subsequently declined 65 percent. In contrast, we find that the nonneutrality of money in the sticky price model is invariant to changes in money demands or other monetary factors. Several researchers have concluded from VAR analyses that the effects of money shock over time are roughly stable. This view is consistent with the predictions of the sticky price model, but is harder to reconcile with the specific pattern of time variation predicted by the liquidity model.