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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. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Friedman Meets Hosios: Efficiency in Search Models of Money," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 174-195, 01.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bernhard Rauch, 2000. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money: A Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 149-156, January.
  5. Edward J. Green & Ruilin Zhou, 1996. "A Rudimentary Random-Matching Model with Divisible Money and Prices," GE, Growth, Math methods 9606001, EconWPA, revised 25 Jul 1996.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Shi, Shouyong, 1999. "Search, inflation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 81-103, August.
  9. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Welfare Costs of Moderate Inflations," Papers 90-04, Rochester, Business - General.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
  12. 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.
  13. Shi Shouyong, 1997. "Search for a Monetary Propagation Mechanism," Working Papers 966, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & John Moore, 2004. "Liquidity, Bussiness Cycles and Monetary Policy," ESE Discussion Papers 113, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  16. 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.
  17. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2003. "Money and the Gains from Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 263-297, February.
  18. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  19. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Money is memory," Staff Report 218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  21. 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.
  22. S. Boragan Aruoba & Randall Wright, 2002. "Search, money and capital: a neoclassical dichotomy," Working Paper 0208, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  23. Alvarez, Fernando & Stokey, Nancy L., 1998. "Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 167-189, September.
  24. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - General.
  25. 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.
  26. Camera, Gabriele & Corbae, Dean, 1999. "Money and Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 985-1008, November.
  27. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Randall Wright, 1989. "A contribution to the pure theory of money," Staff Report 123, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  28. Duffie, Darrell, et al, 1994. "Stationary Markov Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 745-81, July.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Shi Shougong, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 467-496, December.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  35. Berentsen Aleksander & Rocheteau Guillaume, 2003. "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, December.
  36. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
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