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Price level uniformity in a random matching model with perfectly patient traders

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  • Edward J. Green
  • Ruilin Zhou

Abstract

This paper shows that one of the defining features of Walrasian equilibrium---law of one price---characterizes equilibrium in a non-Walrasian environment of (1) random trade matching without double coincidence of wants, and (2) strategic, price-setting conduct. Money is modeled as perfectly divisible and there is no constraint on agents' money inventories. In such an environment with discounting, the endogenous heterogeneity of money balances among agents implies differences in marginal valuation of money between distinct pairs of traders, which raises the question whether decentralized trade would typically involve price dispersion. We investigate the limiting case in which agents are patient, in the sense that they have overtaking-criterion preferences over random expected-utility streams. We show that in this case the ``law of one price'' holds exactly. That is, in a stationary Markov monetary equilibrium, all transactions endogenously must occur at a single price despite the decentralized organization of exchange. The result is in the same spirit as the work of Gale (1986a, b) on bargaining and competition, although the model differs from Gale's in some significant respects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-01-17.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-01-17

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Keywords: Prices ; Money;

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  1. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "Dynamic Monetary Equilibrium in a Random Matching Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 929-969, May.
  2. Camera, G. & Corbae, D., 1998. "Money and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 98-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  3. Gilboa, Itzhak & Matsui, Akihiko, 1992. "A model of random matching," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 185-197.
  4. Gale, Douglas M, 1986. "Bargaining and Competition Part I: Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 785-806, July.
  5. Gale, Douglas M, 1986. "Bargaining and Competition Part II: Existence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 807-18, July.
  6. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Wallace, Neil & Wright, Randall, 1996. "Coexistence of money and interest-bearing securities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 397-419, June.
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