Macroeconomic Dynamics



ARTICLES

THE INFLATION TAX, VARIABLE TIME PREFERENCE, AND THE BUSINESS CYCLE


Radhika Lahiri a1c1
a1 Queensland University of Technology

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of anticipated inflation on features of the business cycle in the presence of recursive but intertemporally dependent tastes. Intertemporal dependence is induced by the presence of a variable or endogenous individual rate of time preference. Quantitative experiments indicate that variability in the rate of time preference can enhance the contribution of monetary shocks to the fluctuations of real variables. Another implication of the variable-time-preference model is that, unlike the fixed time preference model, the business cycle features in high inflation and low inflation economies can be very different. The contribution of monetary shocks to fluctuations increases partly because endogenous time preference accentuates inflation-tax effects, which are already present in the standard framework because of the presence of cash-in-advance constraints. The change in the relative role of monetary shocks is also related to how variable time preference alters the effects of technology shocks, which can be quantitatively or qualitatively different in comparison to the standard model, depending on the parameters of the model.


Key Words: Inflation; Business Cycles; Monetary Shocks; Variable Time Preference.

Correspondence:
c1 Address correspondence to: Radhika Lahiri, School of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, 2 George Street, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia; e-mail: r.lahiri@qut.edu.au.


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