Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Demand for Money for EMU: A Flexible Functional Form Approach

Barnett, William and Gaekwad, Neepa (2017): The Demand for Money for EMU: A Flexible Functional Form Approach.

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Abstract

Monetary aggregates have a special role under the "two pillar strategy" of the ECB. Hence, the need for a theoretically consistent measure of monetary aggregates for the European Monetary Union (EMU) is needed. This paper analyzes aggregation over monetary assets for the EMU. We aggregate over the monetary services for the EMU-11 countries, which include Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia. We adopt the Divisia monetary aggregation approach, which is consistent with index number theory and microeconomic aggregation theory. The result is a multilateral Divisia monetary aggregate in accordance with Barnett (2007). The multilateral Divisia monetary aggregate for the EMU-11 is found to be more informative and a better signal of economic trends than the corresponding simple sum aggregate. We then analyze substitutability among monetary assets for the EMU-11 within the framework of a representative consumer's utility function, using Barnett’s (1983) locally flexible functional form, the minflex Laurent Indirect utility function. The analysis of elasticities with respect to the asset’s user-cost prices shows that: (i) transaction balances (TB) and deposits redeemable at notice (DRN) are income elastic, (ii) the DRN display large variation in price elasticity, and (iii) the monetary assets are not good substitutes for each other within the EMU-11. Simple sum monetary aggregation assumes that component assets are perfect substitutes. Hence simple sum aggregation distorts measurement of the monetary aggregate. The ECB has Divisia monetary aggregates provided to the Governing Council at its meetings, but not to the public. Our European Divisia monetary aggregates will be expanded and refined, in collaboration with Wenjuan Chen at the Humboldt University of Berlin, to a complete EMU Divisia monetary aggregates database to be supplied to the public by the Center for Financial Stability in New York City.

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