IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/2014-003.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Money, liquidity and welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Wen, Yi

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

This paper develops an analytically tractable Bewley model of money demand to shed light on some important questions in monetary theory, such as the welfare cost of inflation. It is shown that when money is a vital form of liquidity to meet uncertain consumption needs, the welfare costs of inflation can be extremely large. With log utility and parameter values that best match both the aggregate money demand curve suggested by Lucas (2000) and the variance of household consumption, agents in our model are willing to reduce consumption by 3% ~ 4% to avoid 10% annual inflation. The astonishingly large welfare costs of inflation arise because inflation increases consumption risk by eroding the buffer-stock-insurance value of money, thus hindering consumption smoothing at the household level. Such an inflation-induced increase in consumption risk at the micro level cannot be captured by representative-agent models or the Bailey triangle. Although the development of financial intermediation can mitigate the problem, with realistic credit limits the welfare loss of moderate inflation still remains several times larger than estimations based on the Bailey triangle. Our findings provide not only a justification for adopting a low inflation target by central banks, but also a plausible explanation for the robust positive relationship between moderate inflation and social unrest in developing countries where money is the major form of household financial wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen, Yi, 2014. "Money, liquidity and welfare," Working Papers 2014-3, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2014-003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2014/2014-003.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-748, September.
    2. Berentsen, Aleksander & Camera, Gabriele & Waller, Christopher, 2007. "Money, credit and banking," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 171-195, July.
    3. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
    4. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Chris Edmond, 2009. "Sluggish Responses of Prices and Inflation to Monetary Shocks in an Inventory Model of Money Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 911-967.
    5. Bewley, Truman, 1983. "A Difficulty with the Optimum Quantity of Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1485-1504, September.
    6. Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The welfare cost of inflation under imperfect insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 79-91, January.
    7. Akyol, Ahmet, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with incomplete markets and idiosyncratic risk," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1245-1269, September.
    8. Orazio P. Attanasio & Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2002. "The Demand for Money, Financial Innovation, and the Welfare Cost of Inflation: An Analysis with Household Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 317-351, April.
    9. Yi Wen, 2011. "Input and Output Inventory Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-212, October.
    10. David Andolfatto & Ed Nosal, 2003. "A theory of money and banking," Working Paper 0310, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    11. 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.
    12. Chiu, Jonathan, 2014. "Endogenously Segmented Asset Market In An Inventory-Theoretic Model Of Money Demand," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 438-472, March.
    13. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Michael Woodford, 1990. "The optimum quantity of money revisited," Working Papers 404, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    14. Espen Henriksen & Finn Kydland, 2010. "Endogenous Money, Inflation and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(2), pages 470-486, April.
    15. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    16. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    17. Yi Wen, 2010. "Liquidity demand and welfare in a heterogeneous-agent economy," Working Papers 2010-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Dotsey, Michael & Ireland, Peter, 1996. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-47, February.
    19. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
    20. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
    21. Miguel Sidrauski, 1967. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 796-796.
    22. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Extensive Margins and the Demand for Money at Low Interest Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 961-991, October.
    23. Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
    24. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-1383, December.
    25. Yi Wen, 2009. "Liquidity and welfare in a heterogeneous-agent economy," Working Papers 2009-019, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    26. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-220, April.
    27. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Dressler, Scott, 2016. "A long-run, short-run, and politico-economic analysis of the welfare costs of inflation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 255-269.
    2. Chang, Juin-Jen & Lai, Ching-Chong & Liao, Chih-Hsing, 2017. "Welfare Cost of Inflation: The Role of Price Markups and Increasing Returns to Production Specialization," MPRA Paper 77753, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dong, Feng & Wen, Yi, 2017. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Negative Interest Rate," Working Papers 2017-19, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. repec:udc:esteco:v:44:y:2017:i:1:p:105-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:39-59 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Liquidity Preference; Money Demand; Financial Intermediation; Velocity; Welfare Costs of Inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E49 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Other
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2014-003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Kathy Cosgrove). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.