Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Helicopter Money: A Preliminary Appraisal

Agarwal, Samiksha and Chakraborty, Lekha (2019): Helicopter Money: A Preliminary Appraisal.

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Helicopter money is a monetary policy tool to boost spending levels in an economy experiencing low nominal demand, deflation and high debt to GDP ratio. It is the monetary financing of fiscal deficits, in a strict sense of “seigniorage”, in order to reach the inflation and the growth targets in the economy. We critically review in this paper how helicopter money is carried out through direct transfers to the public, or through a “fiscal stimulus” (tax cut or public expenditure boost). Helicopter drops are gaining relevance today in context of the non-efficaciousness of orthodox monetary policy tools like Quantitative Easing (QE) and the persistently low demand levels in the economies. However, the political economy determinants, the macroeconomic policy context and the fiscal-monetary policy linkages are crucial in the effective implementation of helicopter money and it is indeed challenging. When fiscal consolidation strategies adopt public expenditure compression rather than tax buoyancy to reach the rule-based fiscal policies and in turn its adverse consequences on economic growth - which has started showing up in growth downturn - a re-look into the plausible financing patterns of deficit and new monetary policy tools is refreshing.

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