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Price setting, price dispersion, and the value of money: or, the law of two prices

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  • Curtis, Elisabeth
  • Wright, Randall

Abstract

We study models that combine search, monetary exchange, price posting by sellers, and buyers with preferences that differ across random meetings - say, because sellers in different meetings produce different varieties of the same good. We show how these features interact to influence the price level (i.e., the value of money) and price dispersion. First, price-posting equilibria exist with valued fiat currency, which is not true in the standard model. Second, although both are possible, price dispersion is more common than a single price. Third, perhaps surprisingly, we prove generically there cannot be more than two prices in equilibrium.
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  • Curtis, Elisabeth & Wright, Randall, 2004. "Price setting, price dispersion, and the value of money: or, the law of two prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1599-1621, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:8:p:1599-1621
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Diamond, 1987. "Consumer Differences and Prices in a Search Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 429-436.
    2. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-840, October.
    3. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, "undated". "A Rudimentary Model of Search with Divisible Money and Prices," Penn CARESS Working Papers 2772f94306e08ef7292945588, Penn Economics Department.
    4. Wallace, Neil, 2001. "Whither Monetary Economics?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 847-869, November.
    5. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
    6. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
    7. 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, August.
    8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    9. Camera, Gabriele & Corbae, Dean, 1999. "Money and Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 985-1008, November.
    10. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-141, February.
    11. Miquel Faig, 2001. "A Search Theory of Money and Commerce with Neoclassical Production," Working Papers faig-01-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Jafarey, Saqib & Masters, Adrian, 2003. " Output, Prices, and the Velocity of Money in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 871-888, December.
    13. 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.
    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 927-954, August.
    15. Camera, Gabriele & Winkler, Johannes, 2003. "International monetary trade and the law of one price," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1531-1553, October.
    16. Zhou, Ruilin, 1999. "Individual and Aggregate Real Balances in a Random-Matching Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1038, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Menzio, Guido & Trachter, Nicholas, 2014. "Large and Small Sellers: A Theory of Equilibrium Price Dispersion with Sequential Search," Working Paper 14-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:5:y:2008:i:7:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stephen D. Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 265-302.
    4. Benoit Julien & Richard Dutu, 2008. "Ex-ante production, directed search and indivisible money," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(7), pages 1-7.
    5. Williamson, Stephen & Wright, Randall, 2010. "New Monetarist Economics: Models," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 25-96 Elsevier.
    6. Gaumont, Damien & Schindler, Martin & Wright, Randall, 2006. "Alternative theories of wage dispersion," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 831-848, May.
    7. Han Han & Benoit Julien & Asgerdur Petursdottir & Liang Wang, 2016. "Credit, Money and Asset Equilibria with Indivisible Goods," Working Papers 201601, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:eee:jetheo:v:172:y:2017:i:c:p:423-450 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Benoît Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2005. "Monetary Exchange with Multilateral Matching," Discussion Papers 05-18, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Oct 2005.
    10. Benoit Julien & Asgerdur Petursdottir & Liang Wang, 2014. "Monetary Equilibria with Indivisible Goods," Working Papers 201428, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    11. Dong, Mei & Jiang, Janet Hua, 2014. "Money and price posting under private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 740-777.
    12. Menzio, Guido & Trachter, Nicholas, 2015. "Equilibrium price dispersion with sequential search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 188-215.
    13. Ennis, Huberto M., 2008. "Search, money, and inflation under private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 101-131, January.
    14. Gaumont Damien & Schindler Martin & Wright Randall, 2006. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion: An Example," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-18, October.
    15. Julien, BenoI^t & Kennes, John & King, Ian, 2008. "Bidding for money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 196-217, September.
    16. Guerrieri, Veronica & Julien, Benoit & Kircher, Philipp & Wright, Randall, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," CEPR Discussion Papers 12315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Wright, Randall & Trejos, Alberto, 2014. "Search-Based Models of Money and Finance: An Integrated Approach," Working Papers 709, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    18. Lucy Qian Liu & Liang Wang & Randall Wright, 2015. "Costly Credit and Sticky Prices," Working Papers 201505, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    19. International Monetary Fund, 2005. "Alternative Models of Wage Dispersion," IMF Working Papers 05/64, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Jean, Kasie & Rabinovich, Stanislav & Wright, Randall, 2010. "On the multiplicity of monetary equilibria: Green-Zhou meets Lagos-Wright," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 392-401, January.
    21. Boragan Aruoba, S. & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Waller, Christopher, 2007. "Bargaining and the value of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2636-2655, November.
    22. Song, Jae Eun, 2014. "Competitive Search Equilibrium in the Credit Market under Asymmetric Information and Limited Commitment," MPRA Paper 57515, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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