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Money and Credit with Limited Commitment

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  • Stephen Williamson

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Daniel Sanches

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Abstract

We study the interplay among imperfect memory, limited commitment, and theft, in an environment that can support monetary exchange and credit. Imperfect memory makes money useful, but it also permits theft to go undetected, and therefore provides lucrative opportunities for thieves. Limited commitment constrains credit arrangements, and the constraints tend to tighten with imperfect memory, as this mitigates punishment for bad behavior in the credit market. In spite of the fact that theft is a deadweight loss, theft in anonymous transactions can discipline credit market behavior, and can therefore be a good thing. We show that the Friedman rule is in general not feasible, or not optimal if it is feasible, and that there are conditions under which theft exists at the optimum.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2008 Meeting Papers with number 502.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed008:502

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  1. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, 05.
  2. James Bullard & Costas Azariadis & Gaetano Antinolfi, 2008. "The Optimal Inflation Target in an Economy with Limited Enforcement," 2008 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 915, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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