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On the threat of counterfeiting


  • Yiting Li
  • Guillaume Rocheteau


We study counterfeiting of currency in a search–theoretic model of monetary exchange. In contrast to Nosal and Wallace (2007), we establish that counterfeiting does not pose a threat to the existence of a monetary equilibrium; i.e., a monetary equilibrium exists irrespective of the cost of producing counterfeits, or the ease with which genuine money can be authenticated. However, the possibility to counterfeit ?at money can affect its value, velocity, output and welfare, even if no counterfeiting occurs in equilibrium. We provide two extensions of the model under which the threat of counterfeiting can materialize: counterfeits can circulate across periods, and sellers set terms of trades in some matches. Policies that make the currency more costly to counterfeit or easier to recognize raise the value of money and society’s welfare, but the latter policy does not always decrease counterfeiting.

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  • Yiting Li & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2008. "On the threat of counterfeiting," Working Paper 0809, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0809

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Kohlberg, Elon & Mertens, Jean-Francois, 1986. "On the Strategic Stability of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1003-1037, September.
    4. Zhu, Tao & Wallace, Neil, 2007. "Pairwise trade and coexistence of money and higher-return assets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 524-535, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1388-1399 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Herrenbrueck, Lucas, 2014. "Quantitative Easing and the Liquidity Channel of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 70686, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2016.
    3. Stephen D. Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 265-302.
    4. Shao, Enchuan & Fung, Ben S.C., 2016. "Counterfeit quality and verification in a monetary exchange," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 13-25.
    5. Berentsen, Aleksander & McBride, Michael & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2017. "Limelight on dark markets: Theory and experimental evidence on liquidity and information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 70-90.
    6. Shao, Enchuan, 2014. "The threat of counterfeiting in competitive search equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 168-185.
    7. Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "Information and liquidity: a discussion," Working Paper 0902, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. Venky Venkateswaran & Randall Wright, 2014. "Pledgability and Liquidity: A New Monetarist Model of Financial and Macroeconomic Activity," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 227-270.
    9. repec:eee:jetheo:v:172:y:2017:i:c:p:26-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zhang, Cathy, 2014. "An information-based theory of international currency," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 286-301.

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    Counterfeits and counterfeiting;

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