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The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium

  • Michael Dotsey
  • Peter N. Ireland

This paper presents a general equilibrium monetary model in which inflation distorts a variety of marginal decisions. Although individually none of the distortions is very large, they combine to yield substantial welfare cost estimates. A sustained 4% inflation like that experienced in the U.S. since 1983 costs the economy the equivalent of 0.41% of output per year when currency is identified as the relevant definition of money and over 1% of output per year when M1 is defined as money. The results illustrate how the traditional, partial equilibrium approach can seriously underestimate the true cost of inflation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 94-04.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:94-04
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  13. Lucas, Robert E., 1981. "Discussion of : Stanley Fischer, "towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II"," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 43-52, January.
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