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Liquidity, Redistribution, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation

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  • Jonathan Chiu
  • Miguel Molico

Abstract

This paper studies the long run welfare costs of inflation in a micro-founded model with trading frictions and costly liquidity management. Agents face uninsurable idiosyncratic uncertainty regarding trading opportunities in a decentralized goods market and must pay a fixed cost to rebalance their liquidity holdings in a centralized liquidity market. By endogenizing the participation decision in the liquidity market, this model endogenizes the responses of velocity, output, the degree of market segmentation, as well as the distribution of money. We find that, compared to the traditional estimates based on a representative agent model, the welfare costs of inflation are significantly smaller due to distributional effects of inflation. The welfare cost of increasing inflation from 0% to 10% is 0.62% of income for the U.S. economy and 0.20% of income for the Canadian economy. Furthermore, the welfare cost is generally non-linear in the rate of inflation, depending on the endogenous responses of the liquidity market participation to inflation and liquidity management costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2007. "Liquidity, Redistribution, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation," Staff Working Papers 07-39, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:07-39
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & C hristopher W aller, 2005. "The Distribution Of Money Balances And The Nonneutrality Of Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 465-487, May.
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    4. Chiu, Jonathan, 2014. "Endogenously Segmented Asset Market In An Inventory-Theoretic Model Of Money Demand," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 438-472, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation: costs and benefits;

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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