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A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics


  • Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro
  • Wright, Randall


The essential function of money is its role as a medium of exchange. The authors formalize this idea using a search-theoretic equilibrium model of the exchange process that captures the "double coincidence of wants problem" with pure barter. One advantage of the framework described here is that it is very tractable. The authors also show that the model can be used to addre ss some substantive issues in monetary economics, including the potenti al welfare-enhancing role of money, the interaction between specializat ion and monetary exchange, and the possibility of equilibria with multip le fiat currencies. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:1:p:63-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 299-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Evenson, Robert E & Kislev, Yoav, 1976. "A Stochastic Model of Applied Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 265-281, April.
    3. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    4. Kortum, Samuel, 1993. "Equilibrium R&D and the Patent-R&D Ratio: U.S. Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 450-457, May.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Feenstra, Robert C & Markusen, James R & Zeile, William, 1992. "Accounting for Growth with New Inputs: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 415-421, May.
    7. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
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