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Gold, fiat money and price stability

Michael Bordo (), Robert Dittmar and William Gavin ()

No 2003-014, Working Papers from Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Abstract: The classical gold standard has long been associated with long-run price stability. But short-run price variability led critics of the gold standard to propose reforms that look much like modern versions of price-path targeting. This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to examine price dynamics under alternative policy regimes. In the model, an inflation target provides more short-run price stability than does the gold standard and, although it introduces a unit root into the price level, it leads to as much long-term price stability as does the gold standard for horizons shorter than 30 years. Relative to these regimes, Fisher's compensated dollar reduces price level and inflation uncertainty by an order of magnitude at all horizons.> The classical gold standard has long been associated with long-run price stability. But short-run price variability led critics of the gold standard to propose reforms that look much like modern versions of price-path targeting. This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to examine price dynamics under alternative policy regimes. In the model, an inflation target provides more short-run price stability than does the gold standard and, although it introduces a unit root into the price level, it leads to as much long-term price stability as does the gold standard for horizons shorter than 30 years. Relative to these regimes, Fisher's compensated dollar reduces price level and inflation uncertainty by an order of magnitude at all horizons.

Keywords: Inflation (Finance); Monetary policy; Gold standard (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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Journal Article: Gold, Fiat Money, and Price Stability (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Gold, Fiat Money, and Price Stability (2003) Downloads
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