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A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis

  • Ricardo Lagos
  • Randall Wright

Search-theoretic models of monetary exchange are based on explicit descriptions of the frictions that make money essential. However, tractable versions of these models typically need strong assumptions that make them ill-suited for studying monetary policy. We propose a framework based on explicit micro foundations within which macro policy can be analyzed. The model is both analytically tractable and amenable to quantitative analysis. We demonstrate this by using it to estimate the welfare cost of inflation. We find much higher costs than the previous literature: our model predicts that going from 10% to 0% inflation can be worth between 3% and 5% of consumption.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 346.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy> (Vol. 113, No. 3, June 2005, pp. 463-484)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:346
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  1. Berentsen, Aleksander, 2002. "On the Distribution of Money Holdings in a Random-Matching Model," MPRA Paper 37319, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  18. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," IEW - Working Papers 155, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  19. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Dynamics, cycles and sunspot equilibria in "genuinely dynamic, fundamentally disaggregative" models of money," Working Paper 0210, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  20. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "Money and the Gains from Trade," IEW - Working Papers 100, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  23. Camera, G. & Corbae, D., 1998. "Money and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 98-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  24. Shi Shouyong, 1997. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Working Papers 966, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
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  29. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
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  32. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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  36. Duffie, Darrell, et al, 1994. "Stationary Markov Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 745-81, July.
  37. 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.
  38. Taber, Alexander & Wallace, Neil, 1999. "A Matching Model with Bounded Holdings of Indivisible Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 961-84, November.
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