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On the Efficiency of Monetary Exchange : Why Divisibility of Money Matters


  • Aleksander BERENTSEN
  • Guillaume ROCHETEAU


Why is money divisible? To explore this question we introduce a mismatch problem into search-theoretic models of monetary exchange. We use alternative assumptions about the divisibility of goods and money and the ability of agents to use lotteries on money. Our framework potentially generates three types of inefficiencies: the no-trade inefficiency where no trade takes place even though it would be socially efficient to trade; the too-much-trade and too-little-trade inefficiencies where the quantities produced and exchanged are either larger or smaller than what the solution to a social planner's problem would dictate. It is shown that while the no-trade and the too-much-trade inefficiencies are caused by the indivisibility of money, the too-little-trade inefficiency is due to the impatience of the traders and the time-consuming exchange process. Furthermore, we find that the lottery model with indivisible money and divisible goods is qualitatively similar to the divisible money and divisible goods model.

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  • Aleksander BERENTSEN & Guillaume ROCHETEAU, 2000. "On the Efficiency of Monetary Exchange : Why Divisibility of Money Matters," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 00.19, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:00.19

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1990. "The Intergenerational Correlation between Children's Adult Earnings and Their Parents' Income: Result from the Michigan Panel Survey of Income Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(2), pages 115-127, June.
    2. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    3. Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 219-251, Part II, .
    4. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    5. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy


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