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Two additions to Lucas's "inflation and welfare"

  • Cysne, Rubens Penha

This work adds to Lucas (2000) by providing analytical solutions to two problems that are solved only numerically by the author. The first part uses a theorem in control theory (Arrow' s sufficiency theorem) to provide sufficiency conditions to characterize the optimum in a shopping-time problem where the value function need not be concave. In the original paper the optimality of the first-order condition is characterized only by means of a numerical analysis. The second part of the paper provides a closed-form solution to the general-equilibrium expression of the welfare costs of inflation when the money demand is double logarithmic. This closed-form solution allows for the precise calculation of the difference between the general-equilibrium and Bailey's partial-equilibrium estimates of the welfare losses due to inflation. Again, in Lucas's original paper, the solution to the general-equilibrium-case underlying nonlinear differential equation is done only numerically, and the posterior assertion that the general-equilibrium welfare figures cannot be distinguished from those derived using Bailey's formula rely only on numerical simulations as well.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 543.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:543
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  1. Seierstad, Atle & Sydsaeter, Knut, 1977. "Sufficient Conditions in Optimal Control Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 367-91, June.
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