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Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation

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  • Paola Boel
  • Gabriele Camera

Abstract

The welfare cost of anticipated inflation is quantified in a calibrated model of the U.S. economy that exhibits tractable equilibrium dispersion in wealth and earnings. Inflation does not generate large losses in societal welfare, yet its impact varies noticeably across segments of society depending also on the financial sophistication of the economy. If money is the only asset, then inflation hurts mostly the wealthier and more productive agents, while those poorer and less productive may even benefit from inflation. The converse holds in a more sophisticated financial environment where agents can insure against consumption risk with assets other than money.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1222.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1222

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Keywords: money; heterogeneity; friedman rule; trade frictions; calibration;

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References

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  1. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2008. "Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare," Working Papers 08-13, Bank of Canada.
  2. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & C hristopher W aller, 2005. "The Distribution Of Money Balances And The Nonneutrality Of Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 465-487, 05.
  3. Irina A. Telyukova & Randall Wright, 2008. "A Model of Money and Credit, with Application to the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 629-647.
  4. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Working Paper 0211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  5. Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Haslag, Joseph & Martin, Antoine, 2004. "Heterogeneity, Redistribution, and the Friedman Rule," Staff General Research Papers 11371, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," RCER Working Papers 155, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  7. S. Boragan Aruoba & Christopher J. Waller & Randall Wright, 2007. "Money and capital," Working Paper 0714, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  8. Paola Boel & Gabriele Camera, 2009. "Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1222, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  9. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2006. "Money and capital as competing media of exchange," Working Paper 0608, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  10. Albanesi, Stefania, 2007. "Inflation and inequality," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1088-1114, May.
  11. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Sichel, Daniel E., 1990. "The demand for money," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 299-356 Elsevier.
  12. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
  13. Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The welfare cost of inflation under imperfect insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 79-91, January.
  14. Boel, Paola & Camera, Gabriele, 2006. "Efficient monetary allocations and the illiquidity of bonds," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1693-1715, October.
  15. Akyol, Ahmet, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with incomplete markets and idiosyncratic risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1245-1269, September.
  16. Miguel Molico & Bank of Canada & Bank of Canada & Jonathan Chiu, 2007. "Idiosyncratic Uncertainty, Inflation and Welfare," 2007 Meeting Papers 472, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Reed, Robert R. & Waller, Christopher J., 2006. "Money and Risk Sharing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1599-1618, September.
  18. David Andolfatto, 2009. "On the Societal Benefits of Illiquid Bonds," Working Paper Series 13_09, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2009.
  19. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  20. Aliprantis, C.D. & Camera, Gabriele & Puzzello, D., 2005. "Anonymous Markets and Monetary Trading," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1179, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  21. 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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Bullard & Gaetano Antinolfi & Costas Azariadis, 2008. "The optimal inflation target in an economy with limited enforcement," Speech 167, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Gabriele Camera & YiLi Chien, 2013. "Modeling monetary economies: an equivalence result," Working Papers 2013-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Camera, Gabriele & Chien, YiLi, 2013. "Two monetary models with alternating markets," SAFE Working Paper Series 33, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
  4. Paola Boel & Gabriele Camera, 2009. "Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1222, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Andre C. Silva, 2014. "Rebalancing Frequency and the Welfare Cost of Inflation," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp587, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  6. Guillaume Rocheteau, 2011. "The cost of inflation: a mechanism design approach," Working Paper 1103, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Boel, Paola, 2013. "On the Redistributive Effects of Inflation: an International Perspective," Working Paper Series 274, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Nov 2013.
  8. Gabriele Camera & YiLi Chien, 2012. "Understanding the distributional impact of long-run inflation," Working Papers 2012-058, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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