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Price setting, price dispersion, and the value of money - or - The law of two prices

  • Elisabeth Curtis
  • Randall Wright

We study models that combine search, monetary exchange, price posting by sellers, and buyers with preferences that differ across random meetings - say, because sellers in different meetings produce different varieties of the same good. We show how these features interact to influence the price level (i.e., the value of money) and price dispersion. First, price-posting equilibria exist with valued fiat currency, which is not true in the standard model. Second, although both are possible, price dispersion is more common than a single price. Third, perhaps surprisingly, we prove generically there cannot be more than two prices in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0209.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0209
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  1. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, . ""A Rudimentary Model of Search with Divisible Money and Prices''," CARESS Working Papres 95-17, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. Diamond, Peter, 1987. "Consumer Differences and Prices in a Search Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 429-36, May.
  3. Jafarey, Saqib & Masters, Adrian, 2003. " Output, Prices, and the Velocity of Money in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 871-88, December.
  4. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  5. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
  6. Wallace, Neil, 2001. "Whither Monetary Economics?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 847-69, November.
  7. Camera, Gabriele & Winkler, Johannes, 2003. "International monetary trade and the law of one price," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1531-1553, October.
  8. Zhou, Ruilin, 1999. "Individual and Aggregate Real Balances in a Random-Matching Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-38, November.
  9. Camera, Gabriele & Corbae, Dean, 1999. "Money and Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 985-1008, November.
  10. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-40, October.
  11. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1991. "A contribution to the pure theory of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 215-235, April.
  12. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
  13. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  14. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  15. Miquel Faig, 2001. "A Search Theory of Money and Commerce with Neoclassical Production," Working Papers faig-01-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  16. Miguel Molico, 2006. "The Distribution Of Money And Prices In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 701-722, 08.
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