Two additions to Lucas's "inflation and welfare"
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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- 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 367-391, June.