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Avoiding the inflation tax

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  • Huberto M. Ennis

Abstract

I study the effects of inflation on the purchasing behavior of buyers in an economy where money is essential for certain transactions (as in Lagos and Wright, 2005). A long-standing intuition in this subject is that when inflation increases, agents try to spend their money holdings speedily. The standard framework fails to capture this kind of effect (see Lagos and Rocheteau, 2005). I propose a simple modification of the model that improves it in this dimension. I assume that buyers can rebalance their money holdings only sporadically (i.e., not every period). With this minimal change in the environment, I show that higher inflation induces some buyers to spend their money faster by frontloading their consumption, searching more intensively for transactions, and buying low-quality goods. In this way, the model is able to reproduce distortions in the pattern of transactions that, traditionally, have played an important role in the evaluation of the cost of inflation.

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  • Huberto M. Ennis, 2007. "Avoiding the inflation tax," Working Paper 07-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:07-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nosal, Ed & Waller, Christopher J. & Wright, Randall, 2011. "Introduction To The Macroeconomic Dynamics Special Issues On Money, Credit, And Liquidity," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(S1), pages 1-9, April.
    2. Cordelius Ilgmann & Martin Menner, 2011. "Negative nominal interest rates: history and current proposals," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 383-405, December.
    3. Hiraguchi, Ryoji & Kobayashi, Keiichiro, 2015. "Multiplicity of monetary steady states," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 93-96.
    4. Stephen D. Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 265-302.
    5. Liu, Lucy Qian & Wang, Liang & Wright, Randall, 2011. "On The “Hot Potato” Effect Of Inflation: Intensive Versus Extensive Margins," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(S2), pages 191-216, September.
    6. Dong, Mei & Jiang, Janet Hua, 2014. "Money and price posting under private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 740-777.
    7. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2011. "Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 487-512, October.
    8. Chiu, Jonathan & Molico, Miguel, 2010. "Liquidity, redistribution, and the welfare cost of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 428-438, May.
    9. Anbarci, Nejat & Dutu, Richard & Feltovich, Nick, 2015. "Inflation tax in the lab: a theoretical and experimental study of competitive search equilibrium with inflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 17-33.

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    Keywords

    Inflation (Finance) ; Money;

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