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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. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  2. Shouyong Shi, 1998. "Search, Inflation, and Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 971, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. S. Boragan Aruoba & Randall Wright, 2003. "Search, money, and capital: a neoclassical dichotomy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1085-1117.
  5. Aleksander Berentsen, 2002. "On the Distribution of Money Holdings 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. 43(3), pages 945-954, August.
  6. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  7. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau & Shouyong Shi, . "Friedman Meets Hosios: Efficiency in Search Models of Money," IEW - Working Papers 154, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. S. Rao Aiyagari & Neil Wallace, 1991. "Existence of steady states with positive consumption in the Kiyotaki-Wright model," Working Papers 428, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. 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.
  10. Robert E. Lucas Jr. & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in an Economy Without Capital," Discussion Papers 532, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Berentsen, Aleksander & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2002. "On the efficiency of monetary exchange: how divisibility of money matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1621-1649, November.
  12. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "Money and the Gains from Trade," IEW - Working Papers 100, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Money is memory," Staff Report 218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. 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.
  15. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
  16. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1987. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," UCLA Economics Working Papers 496, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Green, Edward J. & Zhou, Ruilin, 1998. "A Rudimentary Random-Matching Model with Divisible Money and Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 252-271, August.
  18. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  19. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1991. "The Welfare Costs of Moderate Inflations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 483-503, August.
  20. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-50, June.
  21. Camera, G. & Corbae, D., 1998. "Money and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 98-03, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  22. Shi, Shouyong, 1998. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 314-352, August.
  23. Gomme, Paul, 1993. "Money and growth revisited : Measuring the costs of inflation in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-77, August.
  24. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Wu, Yangru & Zhang, Junxi, 2000. "Monopolistic competition, increasing returns to scale, and the welfare costs of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 417-440, October.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Duffie, Darrell, et al, 1994. "Stationary Markov Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 745-81, July.
  31. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2012. "Liquidity, Business Cycles, and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 17934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. 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.
  33. Bernhard Rauch, 2000. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 149-156, January.
  34. 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.
  35. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
  36. 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.
  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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