Financial Intermediation, Liquidity, And Inflation
This paper develops a search-theoretic model to study the interaction between banking and monetary policy and how this interaction affects allocation and welfare. Regarding how banking affects the welfare costs of inflation, we find that, with banking, inflation generates lower welfare costs. We also find that lowering inflation improves welfare not just by reducing consumption/production distortions, but also by avoiding financial intermediation costs. Therefore, understanding the nature of financial intermediation is critical for accurately assessing the welfare gain from lowering the inflation rate. Regarding how monetary policy affects the welfare effects of banking, we find that, when the inflation is low, banking is not active in channeling liquidity; when inflation is high, banking is active and improves welfare; and when inflation is moderate, banking is active but reduces welfare. Owing to general-equilibrium feedback, banking is supported in equilibrium even though welfare is higher without banking.
Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): S1 (April)
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