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Money is memory

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  • Narayana R. Kocherlakota

Abstract

This paper examines the sets of feasible allocations in a large class of economic environments in which commitment is impossible (the standard definition of feasibility is adapted to take account of the lack of commitment). The environments feature either memory or money. Memory is defined as knowledge on the part of an agent of the full histories of all agents with whom he has had direct or indirect contact in the past. Money is defined as an object that does not enter preferences or production and is available in fixed supply. The main proposition proves that any allocation that is feasible in an environment with money is also feasible in the same environment with memory. Depending on the environment, the converse may or may not be true. Hence, from a technological point of view, money is equivalent to a primitive form of memory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 218.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:218

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Keywords: Money ; Money theory;

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References

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  1. Myerson, Roger B, 1986. "Multistage Games with Communication," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 323-58, March.
  2. Williamson, Steve & Wright, Randall, 1994. "Barter and Monetary Exchange under Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 104-23, March.
  3. Huggett, Mark & Krasa, Stefan, 1996. "Money and Storage in a Differential Information Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, August.
  4. Ostroy, Joseph M, 1973. "The Informational Efficiency of Monetary Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 597-610, September.
  5. Ireland, Peter N., 1994. "Economic growth, financial evolution, and the long-run behavior of velocity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(3-4), pages 815-848.
  6. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean, 1994. "Money and Finance in a Model of Costly Commitment," Working Papers 94-21, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  7. Kocherlakota, Narayana & Wallace, Neil, 1998. "Incomplete Record-Keeping and Optimal Payment Arrangements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 272-289, August.
  8. Roger B. Myerson, 1977. "Incentive Compatability and the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 284, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Taub, Bart, 1994. "Currency and Credit Are Equivalent Mechanisms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(4), pages 921-56, November.
  10. Aiyagari, S.R. & Williamson, S.D., 1997. "Credit in a Random Matching Model with Private Information," Working Papers 97-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  11. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  12. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1990. "Toward a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1041-63, September.
  13. S. Rao Aiyagari & Neil Wallace, 1991. "Existence of steady states with positive consumption in the Kiyotaki-Wright model," Working Papers 428, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Townsend, Robert M, 1987. "Economic Organization with Limited Communication," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 954-71, December.
  15. Townsend, Robert M, 1989. "Currency and Credit in a Private Information Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1323-44, December.
  16. Dilip Abreu & David Pearce & Ennio Stacchetti, 2010. "Towards a Theory of Discounted Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Levine's Working Paper Archive 199, David K. Levine.
  17. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Financial Structure and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 895-911, December.
  18. Green, Edward J & Oh, Soo-Nam, 1991. "Contracts, Constraints and Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 883-99, October.
  19. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. L'économie amusante: Bitcoin ou la monnaie de geek
    by Benjamin Ting in Economiam on 2013-03-08 22:51:00
  2. Ô! La jolie bulle… (ou: l’affaire Bitcoin)
    by F. Velde in Frogonomics on 2013-04-19 07:30:56
  3. L'économie amusante: Bitcoin ou la monnaie de geek
    by Benjamin Ting in Economiam on 2013-03-08 22:51:00
  4. Kocherlakota: A Puzzle
    by Stephen Williamson in Stephen Williamson: New Monetarist Economics on 2013-09-27 21:36:00
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