October 9, 2018 Reading Time: 2 minutes

The fourth issue of the AIER Sound Money Project Working Paper Series is available online. AIER is currently ranked 149th on SSRN’s Top 1,600 Entrepreneurship Research & Policy Network Organizations.

Issue 4

Nominal GDP Targeting and the Taylor Rule on an Even Playing Field
David Beckworth, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Joshua R. Hendrickson, University of Mississippi and American Institute for Economic Research

Some economists have advocated nominal GDP targeting as an alternative to the Taylor Rule. These arguments are largely based on the idea that nominal GDP targeting would require less knowledge on the part of policymakers than a traditional Taylor Rule. In particular, a nominal GDP targeting rule would not require real-time knowledge of the output gap. We examine the importance of this claim by amending a standard New Keynesian model to assume that the central bank has imperfect information about the output gap and therefore must forecast the output gap based on previous information. Forecast errors by the central bank can then potentially induce unanticipated changes in the short term nominal interest rate, distinct from a standard monetary policy shock. We show that forecast errors of the output gap by the Federal Reserve can account for up to 13% of the fluctuations in the output gap. In addition, our simulations imply that a nominal GDP targeting rule would produce lower volatility in both inflation and the output gap in comparison with the Taylor Rule under imperfect information.

Endogenous Matching and Money with Random Consumption Preferences
Thomas L. Hogan, Rice University – Baker Institute for Public Policy
William J. Luther, Florida Atlantic University and American Institute for Economic Research

Current money matching models employ either random matching or endogenous matching processes, both of which oversimplify the problem. We maintain that although most economic interactions are intentional, randomness still exists in consumption preferences. We offer an endogenous matching model of money with random consumption preferences. Our model preserves the intentionality of economic interactions while leaving scope for chance. We compare the potential monetary and nonmonetary equilibria to other endogenous matching and random matching models. We then consider the effects of government transaction policy and find that, consistent with earlier studies, government policy can prevent nonmonetary equilibria and create monetary equilibria.

Money as Meta-Rule: Buchanan’s Constitutional Economics as a Foundation for Monetary Stability
Peter J. Boettke, George Mason University
Alexander W. Salter, Texas Tech University and American Institute for Economic Research
Daniel J. Smith, Middle Tennessee State University

This paper explores James Buchanan’s contributions to monetary economics and argues these contributions form the foundation of a robust monetary economics paradigm. While often not recognized for his contributions to monetary economics, Buchanan’s scholarship offers important insights for current debates. We argue that the post-2007 crisis milieu creates a unique opportunity to recognize, as Buchanan did, the vital role that money plays in the market as the ‘grammar of commerce.’ That recognition makes the need for more fundamental reform of our monetary regimes at the constitutional level more apparent, making Buchanan’s work on monetary constitutions more relevant than ever before. We then discuss how adopting Buchanan’s monetary framework can improve both monetary scholarship and institutions.

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William J. Luther

William J. Luther

William J. Luther is the Director of AIER’s Sound Money Project and an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida Atlantic University. His research focuses primarily on questions of currency acceptance. He has published articles in leading scholarly journals, including Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Institutional Economics, Public Choice, and Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance. His popular writings have appeared in The Economist, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report. His work has been featured by major media outlets, including NPR, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, TIME Magazine, National Review, Fox Nation, and VICE News. Luther earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University and his B.A. in Economics at Capital University. He was an AIER Summer Fellowship Program participant in 2010 and 2011.

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