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State-dependent pricing, inflation, and welfare in search economies

  • Ben R. Craig
  • Guillaume Rocheteau

This paper investigates the welfare effects of inflation in economies with search frictions and menu costs. We first analyze an economy where there is no transaction demand for money balances: Money is a mere unit of account. We determine a condition under which price stability is optimal and a condition under which positive inflation is desirable. We relate these conditions to a standard efficiency condition for search economies. Second, we consider a related economy in which there is a transaction role for money. In the absence of menu costs, the Friedman rule is optimal. In the presence of menu costs, the optimal inflation rate is negative for all our numerical examples. A deviation from the Friedman rule can be optimal depending on the extent of the search externalities.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0504.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0504
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  1. Allen Head & Alok Kumar & Beverly Lapham, 2006. "Market Power, Price Adjustment, and Inflation," Working Papers 1089, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Friedman Meets Hosios: Efficiency in Search Models of Money," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 174-195, 01.
  3. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  4. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
  5. Diamond, Peter A, 1993. "Search, Sticky Prices, and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 53-68, January.
  6. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, 01.
  7. Benabou, Roland, 1988. "Search, Price Setting and Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 353-76, July.
  8. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ennis, Huberto M., 2008. "Search, money, and inflation under private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 101-131, January.
  12. Stephen Williamson, 2004. "Search, Limited Participation, and Monetary Policy," 2004 Meeting Papers 214, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Bester, Helmut, 1994. "Price commitment in search markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 109-120, September.
  14. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  15. Ben Craig & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2008. "Inflation and Welfare: A Search Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(1), pages 89-119, 02.
  16. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
  17. Caplin, A. & Leahy, J., 1989. "State-Dependent Pricing And The Dynamics Of Money And Output," Discussion Papers 1989_32, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  18. Benabou, Roland, 1992. "Inflation and Efficiency in Search Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 299-329, April.
  19. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
  20. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1983. "Aggregate Consequences of Fixed Costs of Price Adjustment [Sticky Prices and Disequilibrium Adjustment in a Rational Model of the Inflationary Process]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 433-36, June.
  21. Daniel Levy & Mark Bergen & Shantanu Dutta & Robert Venable, 2005. "The Magnitude of Menu Costs: Direct Evidence from Large U.S. Supermarket Chains," Macroeconomics 0505012, EconWPA.
  22. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  23. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  24. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  25. Allen Head & Alok Kumar, 2005. "Price Dispersion, Inflation, And Welfare," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 533-572, 05.
  26. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
  27. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  28. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
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