Optimal Taxation by the Monetary Authority
NBER Working Paper No. 1375
Reserve requirements imposed against bank deposits, nominal interest payments on bank reserves (or on base money), and inflation can all be viewed as generating tax effects. Any analysis of optimal monetary policy in a steady-state equilibrium needs to consider the simultaneous choice of all the tax instruments controlled by the monetary authority. Such an analysis is carried out in this paper. It is shown that when the tax system is not indexed, the optimal nominal interest rate on the monetary authority's liabilities is likely to be zero. More importantly, any discussion of the payment of interest on reserves and currency must take into account the nature of the tax system and the rate of inflation in a nonindexed economy.