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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. 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.
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  7. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
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  17. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  18. Ruilin Zhou, 1996. "Individual and aggregate real balances in a random matching model," Staff Report 222, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  20. Gomme, P., 1993. "Money and Growth Revisited : Measuring the Costs of Inflation in an Endogenous Growth Model," Discussion Papers dp93-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  21. Aiyagari, S Rao & Wallace, Neil, 1991. "Existence of Steady States with Positive Consumption in the Kiyotaki-Wright Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 901-16, October.
  22. 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.
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  30. Paul Gomme, 1991. "Money and growth revisited," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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