Working paper 220 was presented at The Economic Consequences of Government Deficits: an Economic Policy Conference, cosponsored by the Center for the Study of American Business and the Institute of Banking and Financial Markets at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, October 29-30, 1982.
Current approaches to monetary theory and policy owe much to the "quantity theory of money." However, recent theoretical developments suggest that the manner in which money is introduced is more important, even for price level movements, than the quantity of money. Colonial American experience provides a laboratory for discriminating between these views. It is shown here that the nature of backing, rather than the quantity of money, determined its value. Large secular inflations were ended by changing the nature of backing despite the continuance of large note issues (and despite the absence of a metallic standard). Extremely large note issues and note withdrawals are shown not to have produced inflation (currency depreciation) or deflation (currency appreciation).
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 consequences of a straightforward monetary targeting scheme are examined for a simple dynamic macro model. The notion of "targeting" used below is the strategic one introduced by Rogoff (1985). Numerical simulations are used to demonstrate that for the model under consideration, monetary targeting is likely to lead to a deterioration of policy performance. These examples cast doubt upon the general efficacy of simple targeting schemes in dynamic rational expectations models.
This paper investigates the effects of changes in a country's monetary policies on its economy and the welfare of its citizens and those of other countries. Each country is populated by two-period lived overlapping agents who reside in either a home service sector or a world-traded good sector. Policy effects are transmitted through changes in the real interest rate, relative prices, and price levels. Welfare effects are sometimes dominated by relative price movements and can thus be opposite of those found in one-good models. Simulation of dynamic paths also reveals that welfare effects for some types of agents reverse between those born in immediate post-shock periods and those born later.
This technical appendix supports "Liquidity Effects, Monetary Policy, and the Business Cycle" in Journal of Money, Credit and Banking (November 1995, Vol. 27, No. 4, Pt. 1, pp. 1113-1136), https://doi.org/10.2307/2077793.
Previous authors have argued that the optimal monetary policy is contractionary. If buyers value consumption substantially more than sellers, there is some randomness and informational constraints make asset trading useful, we show that there is an incentive compatible expansionary policy that dominates all incentive compatible contractionary policies.