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Barter and Monetary Exchange under Private Information

  • Williamson, Steve
  • Wright, Randall

The authors develop a model of production and exchange with uncertainty concerning the quality of commodities and study the role of fiat money in ameliorating frictions caused by private information. The model is specified so that, without private information, only high-quality commodities are produced and there is no welfare gain from using money. With private information, there can be equilibria (and sometimes multiple equilibria) where low-quality commodities are produced and money can increase welfare. Money works by promoting useful production and exchange. In efficient monetary equilibria, agents adopt strategies that increase the probability of acquiring high-quality output. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 84 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 104-23

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:84:y:1994:i:1:p:104-23
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  1. Diamond, Peter A, 1984. "Money in Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 1-20, January.
  2. Harald Uhlig, 1996. "A law of large numbers for large economies (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 41-50.
  3. Williamson, Stephen D., 1992. "Laissez-faire banking and circulating media of exchange," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 134-167, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1991. "A contribution to the pure theory of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 215-235, April.
  6. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  7. Kiyotaki, N. & Wright, R., 1990. "Search For A Theory Of Money," Working papers 90-15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  8. Alchian, Armen A, 1977. "Why Money?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 9(1), pages 133-40, February.
  9. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  10. Freeman, Scott, 1985. "Transactions Costs and the Optimal Quantity of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 146-57, February.
  11. Bruce D. Smith, 1985. "Limited information, money, and competitive equilibrium," Working Papers 204, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 1986. "Money as the mechanism of exchange," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 93-115, January.
  13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1989. "Gresham's Law in a Lemons Market for Assets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 686-97, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Aiyagari, S Rao & Wallace, Neil, 1992. "Fiat Money in the Kiyotaki-Wright Model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 447-64, October.
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