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Commodity Money with Frequent Search


  • Ezra Oberfield

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Nicholas Trachter



A prominent feature of the Kiyotaki and Wright (1989) model of commodity money is the multiplicity of dynamic equilibria. We show that the frequency of search is strongly related to the extent of multiplicity. To isolate the role of frequency of search in generating multiplicity, we (i) vary the frequency of search without changing the frequency of finding a trading partner and (ii) focus on symmetric dynamic equilibria, a class for which we can sharply characterize several features of the set of equilibria. For any finite frequency of search this class retains much of the multiplicity. For each frequency we characterize the full set of equilibrium payoffs, strategies played, and dynamic paths of the state variables. Indexed by any of these features, the set of equilibria converges uniformly to a unique equilibrium in the continuous search limit. We conclude that when search is frequent, the seemingly exotic dynamics are irrelevant.

Suggested Citation

  • Ezra Oberfield & Nicholas Trachter, 2010. "Commodity Money with Frequent Search," EIEF Working Papers Series 1023, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Nov 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1023

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1988. "Anonymous sequential games," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 77-87, February.
    2. Hintermaier, Thomas, 2005. "A sunspot paradox," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 285-290, May.
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    4. Boldrin, Michele & Montrucchio, Luigi, 1986. "On the indeterminacy of capital accumulation paths," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 26-39, October.
    5. Kehoe, Timothy J & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "More on Money as a Medium of Exchange," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(2), pages 297-314, April.
    6. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
    7. Renero, Juan-Manuel, 1999. "Does and Should a Commodity Medium of Exchange Have Relatively Low Storage Costs?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 251-264, May.
    8. Aiyagari, S Rao & Wallace, Neil, 1992. "Fiat Money in the Kiyotaki-Wright Model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(4), pages 447-464, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kindler, A. & Bourgeois-Gironde, S. & Lefebvre, G. & Solomon, S., 2017. "New leads in speculative behavior," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 467(C), pages 365-379.
    2. repec:eee:jetheo:v:172:y:2017:i:c:p:423-450 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games


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