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Wealth as a Signal in the Search Model of Money

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  • Tsunao Okumura

Abstract

This paper investigates the possibility that wealth (holdings of money) serves as a signal of ability to produce high quality products for agents who cannot directly observe the quality of the products. A producer’s wealth may advertise past success in selling products to agents who knew the producer’s ability and thus signal its ability. This analysis shows that such signaling effects may arise in equilibrium and may lead to more unequal distributions of wealth and lower welfare than would otherwise arise.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsunao Okumura, 2005. "Wealth as a Signal in the Search Model of Money," Discussion Papers 1401, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1401
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aleksander Berentsen, 2002. "On the Distribution of Money Holdings in a Random-Matching Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 945-954, August.
    2. Berentsen, Aleksander & Molico, Miguel & Wright, Randall, 2002. "Indivisibilities, Lotteries, and Monetary Exchange," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 70-94, November.
    3. Williamson, Steve & Wright, Randall, 1994. "Barter and Monetary Exchange under Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 104-123, March.
    4. Miguel Molico, 2006. "The Distribution Of Money And Prices In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 701-722, August.
    5. Green, Edward J. & Zhou, Ruilin, 1998. "A Rudimentary Random-Matching Model with Divisible Money and Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 252-271, August.
    6. Camera, Gabriele & Corbae, Dean, 1999. "Money and Price Dispersion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 985-1008, November.
    7. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1991. "A contribution to the pure theory of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 215-235, April.
    8. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-954, August.
    9. Taber, Alexander & Wallace, Neil, 1999. "A Matching Model with Bounded Holdings of Indivisible Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 961-984, November.
    10. Zhou, Ruilin, 1999. "Individual and Aggregate Real Balances in a Random-Matching Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1038, November.
    11. Berentsen, Aleksander, 2000. "Money Inventories in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 168-178, May.
    12. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-141, February.
    13. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
    14. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ennis, Huberto M., 2008. "Search, money, and inflation under private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 101-131, January.
    2. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004. "Money and Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 915-944.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Random matching; Money holdings; Signaling; Distribution of wealth; Welfare; Divisible money; Product quality.;

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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