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Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare

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  • Jonathan Chiu
  • Miguel Molico

Abstract

This paper studies the welfare costs and the redistributive effects of inflation in the presence of idiosyncratic liquidity risk, in a micro-founded search-theoretical monetary model. We calibrate the model to match the empirical aggregate money demand and the distribution of money holdings across households, and study the effects of inflation under the implied degree of market incompleteness. We show that in the presence of imperfect insurance the estimated long-run welfare costs of inflation are on average 40% smaller compared to a complete markets, representative agent economy, and that inflation induces important redistributive effects across households. For example, the welfare gains of reducing inflation from 10% to 0% is 0.59% of income. Furthermore, we estimate that the long-run welfare gains of reducing the typical current inflation target of 2 to 1 percent to be 0.06% of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2008. "Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare," Staff Working Papers 08-13, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Scott J. Dressler, 2011. "Money Holdings, Inflation, And Welfare In A Competitive Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 407-423, May.
    3. Benjamín García, 2016. "Welfare Costs of Inflation and Imperfect Competition in a Monetary Search Model," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 794, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre-Olivier Weill & Tsz-Nga Wong, 2015. "A Tractable Model of Monetary Exchange with Ex-post Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 21179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Boel, Paola & Camera, Gabriele, 2009. "Financial sophistication and the distribution of the welfare cost of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 968-978, October.
    6. Stephen D. Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 265-302.
    7. Menzio, Guido & Shi, Shouyong & Sun, Hongfei, 2013. "A monetary theory with non-degenerate distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2266-2312.
    8. Venky Venkateswaran & Randall Wright, 2014. "Pledgability and Liquidity: A New Monetarist Model of Financial and Macroeconomic Activity," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 227-270.
    9. Herrenbrueck, Lucas, 2014. "Quantitative Easing and the Liquidity Channel of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 70686, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2016.
    10. Dressler, Scott, 2016. "A long-run, short-run, and politico-economic analysis of the welfare costs of inflation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 255-269.
    11. Mahmoudi, Babak, 2013. "Open-Market Operations, Asset Distributions, and Endogenous Market Segmentation," MPRA Paper 50089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. 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.
    13. Chao Gu & Fabrizio Mattesini & Randall Wright, 2016. "Money and Credit Redux," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1-32, January.
    14. repec:pit:wpaper:449 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Scott J. Dressler, 2011. "A Long-Run, Short-Run and Politico-Economic Analysis of the Welfare Costs of Inflation," Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series 16, Villanova School of Business Department of Economics and Statistics.
    16. 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.
    17. Paola Boel, 2017. "The Redistributive Effects of Inflation and the Shape of Money Demand," LWS Working papers 25, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    18. Boragan Aruoba & Morris Davis & Randall Wright, 2016. "Homework in Monetary Economics: Inflation, Home Production, and the Production of Homes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 105-124, July.
    19. Boel, Paola, 2013. "The Redistributive Effects of Inflation: an International Perspective," Working Paper Series 274, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Feb 2017.
    20. Chiu, Jonathan & Molico, Miguel, 2010. "Liquidity, redistribution, and the welfare cost of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 428-438, May.
    21. Zhu, Tao, 2007. "An Overlapping-Generations Model with Search," Working Papers 07-09, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    22. Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre‐Olivier Weill, 2011. "Liquidity in Frictional Asset Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 261-282, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation: costs and benefits; Monetary policy framework;

    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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