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Gift Exchange versus Monetary Exchange: Theory and Evidence

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  • John Duffy
  • Daniela Puzzello

Abstract

We study the Lagos and Wright (2005) model of monetary exchange in the laboratory. With a finite population of sufficiently patient agents, this model has a unique monetary equilibrium and a continuum of non-monetary gift exchange equilibria, some of which Pareto dominate the monetary equilibrium. We find that subjects avoid the gift-exchange equilibria in favor of the monetary equilibrium. We also study versions of the model without money where all equilibria involve non-monetary gift-exchange. We find that welfare is higher in the model with money than without money, suggesting that money plays a role as an efficiency enhancing coordination device.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 449.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Sep 2013
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:449

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  1. Peng Lian & Charles R. Plott, 1998. "General equilibrium, markets, macroeconomics and money in a laboratory experimental environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 123-146.
  2. Araujo, Luis & Camargo, Braz & Minetti, Raoul & Puzzello, Daniela, 2012. "The essentiality of money in environments with centralized trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 612-621.
  3. Deck, Cary A. & McCabe, Kevin A. & Porter, David P., 2006. "Why stable fiat money hyperinflates: Results from an experimental economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 471-486, November.
  4. Camera, G. & Noussair, C. & Tucker, S., 2000. "Rate-of-Return Dominance and Efficiency in an Experimental Economy," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1135, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. McCabe, Kevin A., 1989. "Fiat money as a store of value in an experimental market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 215-231, October.
  6. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2008. "Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare," Working Papers 08-13, Bank of Canada.
  7. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2010. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1239, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  8. Aliprantis, C.D. & Camera, Gabriele & Puzzello, D., 2005. "Anonymous Markets and Monetary Trading," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1179, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  9. Michi Kandori, 2010. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Levine's Working Paper Archive 630, David K. Levine.
  10. Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2002. "Intrinsically Worthless Objects as Media of Exchange: Experimental Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 637-674, August.
  13. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching," Levine's Working Paper Archive 631, David K. Levine.
  14. Peng Lian & Charles R. Plott, 1998. "General equilibrium, markets, macroeconomics and money in a laboratory experimental environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 21-75.
  15. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  16. Araujo, Luis, 2004. "Social norms and money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-256, March.
  17. Charalambos D Aliprantis & Gabriele Camera & Daniela Puzzello, 2007. "Contagion Equilibria in a Monetary Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 277-282, 01.
  18. Brown, Paul M., 1996. "Experimental evidence on money as a medium of exchange," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 583-600, April.
  19. Jack Ochs & John Duffy, 1999. "Emergence of Money as a Medium of Exchange: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 847-877, September.
  20. Charalambos Aliprantis & Gabriele Camera & Daniela Puzzello, 2006. "Matching and anonymity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 415-432, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Aleksander Berentsen & Michael McBride & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2013. "Limelight on dark markets: an experimental study of liquidity and information," ECON - Working Papers 126, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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