Inflation and Welfare with Search and Price Dispersion
This paper studies the effect of inflation on welfare in a monetary economy with price dispersion and consumer search. When facing greater price dispersion with higher inflation, consumers search harder for lower prices, and increased search raises welfare by intensifying market competition. Producers post inefficiently high prices, and this creates a welfare loss. Both mechanisms are affected by the consumer's monetary balance. I develop a general equilibrium model with search frictions to incorporate the interrelationship of money, search, and endogenous price dispersion. Inflation aspects welfare through three channels: the real balance channel, the search channel, and the price posting channel. I calibrate the model to U.S. data and find that the welfare cost of 10% annual inflation is worth 3.23% of consumption; however, if either the real balance or the price posting channel is closed, the welfare cost significantly decreases to less than 0.15% of consumption. The price posting channel amplifies the welfare-diminishing effect of the real balance channel, and the aggregated negative effect exceeds the positive effect due to the search channel. The search cost only generates a negligible welfare loss.
|Date of creation:||18 Jul 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2424 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822|
Web page: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Web: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/working.html Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Aruoba, S. Boragan & Waller, Christopher J. & Wright, Randall, 2011.
"Money and capital,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 98-116, March.
- Shouyong Shi, 1997.
"A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money,"
Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
- Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Inflation and Relative Prices Evidence from Argentina," UCLA Economics Working Papers 661, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Allen Head & Alok Kumar, 2005.
"Price Dispersion, Inflation, And Welfare,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 533-572, 05.
- Randall Wright & Guillame Rocheteau, 2003.
"Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium,"
666156000000000302, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, 01.
- Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2004. "Money in search equilibrium, in competitive equilibrium, and in competitive search equilibrium," Working Paper 0405, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Ariel Burstein & Christian Hellwig, 2008.
"Welfare Costs of Inflation in a Menu Cost Model,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 438-43, May.
- Faig, Miquel & Jerez, Belen, 2005. "A theory of commerce," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 60-99, May.
- Allen Head & Lucy Qian Liu & Guido Menzio & Randall Wright, 2010. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion and Rigidity: A New Monetarist Approach," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-034, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Parsley, David C, 1996. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability in the Short and Long Run: New Evidence from the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 323-41, August.
- Caglayan, Mustafa & Filiztekin, Alpay & Rauh, Michael T., 2008.
"Inflation, price dispersion, and market structure,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1187-1208, October.
- Allen Head & Alok Kumar & Beverly Lapham, 2006.
"Market Power, Price Adjustment, and Inflation,"
1089, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- María Ángeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabús & Carlos Usabiaga, 2004.
"Relative Prices and Inflation: New Evidence from Different Inflationary Contexts,"
Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces
E2004/71, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
- M. Angeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabus & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Relative prices and inflation: new evidence from different inflationary contexts," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(16), pages 1931-1944.
- Carlos Usabiaga. & MarÃa Ã ngeles Caraballo & Carlos DabÃºs, 2004. "Relative Prices and Inflation: New Evidence from Different Inflationary Contexts," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 338, Econometric Society.
- Debelle, Guy & Lamont, Owen, 1997.
"Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from U.S. Cities,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 132-52, February.
- Guy Debelle & Owen Lamont, 1996. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 5627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Dutu & Benoit Julien & Ian King, 2012. "On the Welfare Gains of Price Dispersion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(5), pages 757-786, 08.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Web Technician)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.