On Human Wealth and the Demand For Money

2012-01-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Allan Meltzer

MR. SYRING (1967) suggests that I relied on assertion rather than evidence or proof to support my statement that "little bias results from the exclusion of human wealth from the measure of wealth used to test the [demand-for-money] hypothesis" (Meltzer, 1963, p. 234). Further, he finds nothing in the empirical evidence to support my assumption that the ratio (d) of income from human wealth (yh) to the stock of human wealth (wh) is constant in the long run, although he recognizes that the assumption may be correct. In this note I will show that the estimated elasticities of real money balances with respect to real income and real non-human wealth are quite consistent with my assumption that d is constant in the long run. I will then discuss the more general problem that he raises, namely, whether it is possible to distinguish empirically between income and wealth as constraints on the demand for money.