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The Mechanism-Design Approach to Monetary Theory

In: Handbook of Monetary Economics


  • Wallace, Neil


The mechanism-design approach to monetary theory is the search for fruitful settings in which money is necessary for the achievement of some desirable allocations. Fruitfulness means that the settings provide insights about puzzling observations and policy questions. Settings with three frictions are considered: imperfect monitoring, costly connections among people, and imperfect recognizability of assets. An illustrative model with those frictions is used to explain as an optimum the following features of actual economies: currency is a uniform object, currency is (usually) dominated in rate of return, some transactions are accomplished using currency and others are accomplished in other ways.

Suggested Citation

  • Wallace, Neil, 2010. "The Mechanism-Design Approach to Monetary Theory," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 1, pages 3-23, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:monchp:3-01

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    Cited by:

    1. Seon Tae Kim & Alessandro Marchesiani, 2020. "Market Intelligence Gathering and Money Demand," Working Papers 202004, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    2. Jonathan Chiu & Tsz-Nga Wong, 2015. "On the Essentiality of E-Money," Staff Working Papers 15-43, Bank of Canada.
    3. Alexei Deviatov & Neil Wallace, 2010. "Interest on Cash with Endogenous Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 2010-012, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Hu, Tai-Wei & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2013. "On the coexistence of money and higher-return assets and its social role," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2520-2560.
    5. Jung, Kuk Mo & Lee, Seungduck, 2015. "A Liquidity-Based Resolution of the Uncovered Interest Parity Puzzle," MPRA Paper 64164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Krishna, R. Vijay & Leukhina, Oksana, 2019. "On the benefits of currency reform," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 81-95.
    7. Seungduck Lee & Kuk Mo Jung, 2020. "A Liquidity‐Based Resolution of the Uncovered Interest Parity Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(6), pages 1397-1433, September.
    8. Choi, Michael, 2018. "Imperfect information transmission and adverse selection in asset markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 619-649.
    9. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Lagos, Ricardo & Wright, Randall, 2016. "Introduction to the symposium issue on money and liquidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 1-9.
    10. Randall Wright & Philipp Kircher & Benoit Julîen & Veronica Guerrieri, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," NBER Working Papers 23884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 2016. "Search-based models of money and finance: An integrated approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 10-31.
    12. Araujo, Luis & Hu, Tai-Wei, 2018. "Optimal monetary interventions in credit markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 455-487.
    13. Randall Wright, 2014. "Marriage, Markets and Money: A Coasian Theory of Household Formation," 2014 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Wataru Nozawa & Hoonsik Yang, 2018. "Optimal Inflation in a Model of Inside Money: a Further Result," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 19(1), pages 137-150, May.

    More about this item


    Money; Frictions; Inside-money; Mechanism-design; Monetary and Fiscal policy; Outside-money;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General


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