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Inflation and Welfare: A Search Approach

  • BEN CRAIG
  • GUILLAUME ROCHETEAU

This paper uses a search model of monetary exchange to provide new insights for evaluating the welfare costs of inflation. We first show that the search model of money can rationalize the estimates of the welfare cost of inflation based on the "welfare triangle" methodology of Bailey (1956) and Lucas (2000) provided that buyers appropriate the social marginal benefit of their real balances. For other mechanisms, the measure given by the welfare triangle has to be scaled up by a factor that increases with sellers' market power. We introduce capital and endogenous participation decisions and study how the cost of inflation is affected. We provide calibrated examples in which a deviation from the Friedman rule is optimal. Copyright 2008 The Ohio State University.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1538-4616.2008.00105.x
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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 89-119

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:1:p:89-119
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Miquel Faig, 2006. "Divisible Money In An Economy With Villages," Working Papers tecipa-216, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2004. "Money in search equilibrium, in competitive equilibrium, and in competitive search equilibrium," Working Paper 0405, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  4. Guillaume Rocheteau & Christopher Waller, 2005. "Bargaining and the value of money," Working Paper 0501, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  8. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Working Paper 0211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Craig, Ben & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2008. "State-dependent pricing, inflation, and welfare in search economies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 441-468, April.
  10. S. Rao Aiyagari & R. Anton Braun & Zvi Eckstein, 1998. "Transaction services, inflation, and welfare," Staff Report 241, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. 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, 08.
  12. Lucas, Robert E., 1981. "Discussion of : Stanley Fischer, "towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II"," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 43-52, January.
  13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 2005. "Optimal monetary policy: what we know and what we don’t know," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Oct, pages 10-19.
  14. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
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  16. Deviatov Alexei & Wallace Neil, 2001. "Another Example in which Lump-sum Money Creation is Beneficial," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-22, February.
  17. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Inflation and Welfare in Models with Trading Frictions," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  18. Fischer, Stanley, 1981. "Towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 5-41, January.
  19. Li, Victor E, 1997. "The Efficiency of Monetary Exchange in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 61-72, February.
  20. S. Boragan Aruoba & Randall Wright, 2003. "Search, money, and capital: a neoclassical dichotomy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1085-1117.
  21. S. Boragan Aruoba & Christopher J. Waller, 2005. "Money and Capital," 2005 Meeting Papers 550, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. 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.
  23. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-48, September.
  24. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  25. Huberto M. Ennis, 2005. "Search, Money, and Inflation under Private Information," 2005 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  26. 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.
  27. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  28. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  29. Li, Victor E, 1995. "The Optimal Taxation of Fiat Money in Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 927-42, November.
  30. Reed, Robert R. & Waller, Christopher J., 2006. "Money and Risk Sharing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 1599-1618, September.
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