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The welfare costs of expected and unexpected inflation

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  • Faig, Miquel
  • Li, Zhe

Abstract

The monetary search model by Lagos and Wright (2005) is extended with imperfect information about nominal shocks as in Lucas (1972). An analytical solution exists with logarithmic preferences. In general, individuals hold precautionary balances. Calibrated to United States postwar data, the welfare cost of the monetary cycle is calculated to be small (below 0.0003% of GDP) compared to the welfare cost of the inflation tax (around 0.25% of GDP). The main reason for the minute welfare cost of the monetary cycle is its low amplitude in 1947-2007. But, monetary crashes, such as those experienced during the Great Depression, can generate important welfare costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Faig, Miquel & Li, Zhe, 2009. "The welfare costs of expected and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1004-1013, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:7:p:1004-1013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 267-301.
    2. Wallace, Neil, 1997. "Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Changes in Money in a Random-Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1293-1307, December.
    3. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 326-334.
    4. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, January.
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    6. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    7. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
    8. Irina A. Telyukova & Randall Wright, 2008. "A Model of Money and Credit, with Application to the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 629-647.
    9. Christian Hellwig, 2004. "Heterogeneous Information and the Benefits of Public Information Disclosures (October 2005)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 283, UCLA Department of Economics.
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    12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1975. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1113-1144, December.
    13. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-14.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Tsz-Nga Wong & Pierre-Olivier Weill & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2015. "Long-Run and Short-Run Effects of Money Injections," 2015 Meeting Papers 793, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre-Olivier Weill & Tsz-Nga Wong, 2015. "Working through the Distribution: Money in the Short and Long Run," NBER Working Papers 21779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Byron Gangnes & Ari Van Assche, 2016. "Global Value Chains and Changing Trade Elasticities," Working Papers 2016-11, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    5. Wang, Liang, 2016. "Endogenous search, price dispersion, and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 94-117.

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    Keywords

    Monetary search Imperfect information Welfare cost monetary cycles Welfare cost inflation;

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