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On The “Hot Potato” Effect Of Inflation: Intensive Versus Extensive Margins

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  • Liu, Lucy Qian
  • Wang, Liang
  • Wright, Randall

Abstract

Conventional wisdom is that inflation makes people spend money faster, trying to get rid of it like a “hot potato,” and this is a channel through which inflation affects velocity and welfare. Monetary theory with endoge- nous search intensity seems ideal for studying this. However, in standard models, inflation is a tax that lowers the surplus from monetary exchange and hence reduces search effort. We replace search intensity with a free entry (participation) decision for buyers - i.e., we focus on the extensive rather than intensive margin - and prove buyers always spend their money faster when inflation increases. We also discuss welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): S2 (September)
Pages: 191-216

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:15:y:2011:i:s2:p:191-216_00

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References

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  1. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004. "Inflation, output, and welfare," Working Paper 0407, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Huberto M. Ennis, 2009. "Avoiding The Inflation Tax," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 607-625, 05.
  3. Mortensen, Dale T., 1987. "Job search and labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 849-919 Elsevier.
  4. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, 01.
  5. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2007. "Liquidity, Redistribution, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation," Working Papers 07-39, Bank of Canada.
  6. Li, Victor E, 1995. "The Optimal Taxation of Fiat Money in Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 927-42, November.
  7. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  8. Berentsen, Aleksander & Molico, Miguel & Wright, Randall, 2002. "Indivisibilities, Lotteries, and Monetary Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 70-94, November.
  9. Shouyong Shi, 1996. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Working Papers 930, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Julia K. Thomas & Aubhik Khan, 2005. "Inflation and Interest Rates with Endogenous Market Segmentation," 2005 Meeting Papers 170, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Peter Rupert & Martin Schindler & Randall Wright, 2000. "Generalized search-theoretic models of monetary exchange," Working Paper 0005, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
  13. Miguel Molico, 2006. "The Distribution Of Money And Prices In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 701-722, 08.
  14. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  15. Shi, Shouyong, 1998. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 314-352, August.
  16. Mei Dong & Janet Hua Jiang, 2011. "Money and Price Posting under Private Information," Working Papers 11-22, Bank of Canada.
  17. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, . ""A Rudimentary Model of Search with Divisible Money and Prices''," CARESS Working Papres 95-17, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  18. Jonathan Chiu, 2005. "Endogenously Segmented Asset Market in an Inventory Theoretic Model of Money Demand," 2005 Meeting Papers 108, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Li, Victor E., 1994. "Inventory accumulation in a search-based monetary economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 511-536, December.
  20. S. Boragan Aruoba & Christopher J. Waller & Randall Wright, 2009. "Money and capital: a quantitative analysis," Working Papers 2009-031, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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Cited by:
  1. Yi Wen, 2012. "Liquidity and welfare," Working Papers 2012-037, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Ilgmann, Cordelius & Menner, Martin, 2011. "Negative nominal interest rates: History and current proposals," CAWM Discussion Papers 43, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
  3. Stephen Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 265-302.

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