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Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare

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  • JONATHAN CHIU
  • MIGUEL MOLICO

Abstract

This paper studies the welfare costs and the redistributive effects of inflation in the presence of idiosyncratic liquidity risk, in a micro-founded search-theoretical monetary model. We calibrate the model to match the empirical aggregate money demand and the distribution of money holdings across households, and study the effects of inflation under the implied degree of market incompleteness. We show that in the presence of imperfect insurance the estimated long-run welfare costs of inflation are on average 40% smaller compared to a complete markets, representative agent economy, and that inflation induces important redistributive effects across households. For example, the welfare gains of reducing inflation from 10% to 0% is 0.59% of income. Furthermore, we estimate that the long-run welfare gains of reducing the typical current inflation target of 2 to 1 percent to be 0.06% of income.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1538-4616.2011.00448.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): (October)
Pages: 487-512

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:43:y:2011:i::p:487-512

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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References

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  1. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & Christopher Waller, . "The Distribution of Money Balances and the Non-Neutrality of Money," IEW - Working Papers 220, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  11. 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.
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  13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Inflation and Welfare in the Steady State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 561-77, June.
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  16. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2000. "Money, interest rates, and exchange rates with endogenously segmented markets," Staff Report 278, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  17. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
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  19. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Chris Edmond, 2003. "On the Sluggish Response of Prices to Money in an Inventory-Theoretic Model of Money Demand," NBER Working Papers 10016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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