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Endogenous Search, Price Dispersion, and Welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Liang Wang

    (Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii Manoa)

Abstract

This paper studies the welfare cost of ináation in a frictional monetary economy with endogenous consumer search. Equilibrium entails price dispersion, where sellers compete for buyers by posting prices. We identify three channels through which inflation affects welfare. The real balance channel is the source of welfare loss. Its interaction with the price posting channel generates a welfare cost larger than Lucas (2000). The search channel reduces the welfare cost by more than one half through general equilibrium e§ect. The aggregate e§ect of these three channels on welfare is non-monotonic. Additionally, the welfare cost of ináation áuctuations is negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Liang Wang, 2016. "Endogenous Search, Price Dispersion, and Welfare," Working Papers 201616, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201616
    as

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    File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_16-16R.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2016 09
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. S. Boragan Aruoba & Frank Schorfheide, 2011. "Sticky Prices versus Monetary Frictions: An Estimation of Policy Trade-Offs," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 60-90, January.
    2. Faig, Miquel & Li, Zhe, 2009. "The welfare costs of expected and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1004-1013, October.
    3. Wright, Randall, 2010. "A uniqueness proof for monetary steady state," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 382-391, January.
    4. Allen Head & Lucy Qian Liu & Guido Menzio & Randall Wright, 2012. "Sticky Prices: A New Monetarist Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 939-973, October.
    5. 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 323-341, August.
    6. Lucas, Robert E. & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2015. "On the stability of money demand," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 48-65.
    7. 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, May.
    8. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, May.
    9. Barry Z. Cynamon & Donald H. Dutkowsky & Barry E. Jones, 2006. "Redefining the Monetary Agggregates: A Clean Sweep," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 661-672, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumer Search; Inflation; Price Dispersion; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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