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“On the ‘Hot Potato Effect’ of Inflation: Intensive versus Extensive Marginsâ€

Author

Listed:
  • Lucy Qian Liu

    () (International Monetary Fund, Wash D.C.)

  • Liang Wang

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Randall Wright

    () (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom is that inflation makes people spend money faster, trying to get rid of it like a “hot potato,†and this is a channel through which inflation affects velocity and welfare. Monetary theory with endoge- nous search intensity seems ideal for studying this. However, in standard models, inflation is a tax that lowers the surplus from monetary exchange and hence reduces search effort. We replace search intensity with a free entry (participation) decision for buyers - i.e., we focus on the extensive rather than intensive margin - and prove buyers always spend their money faster when inflation increases. We also discuss welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucy Qian Liu & Liang Wang & Randall Wright, 2009. "“On the ‘Hot Potato Effect’ of Inflation: Intensive versus Extensive Marginsâ€," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-040, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:09-040
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Rocheteau, Guillaume & Weill, Pierre-Olivier & Wong, Russell, 2018. "A tractable model of monetary exchange with ex-post heterogeneity," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 13(3), September.
    2. Cordelius Ilgmann & Martin Menner, 2011. "Negative nominal interest rates: history and current proposals," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 383-405, December.
    3. Lucas Herrenbrueck, 2017. "An Open-Economy Model With Money, Endogenous Search, And Heterogeneous Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1648-1670, October.
    4. Berentsen, Aleksander & Waller, Christopher, 2015. "Optimal Stabilization Policy With Search Externalities," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 669-700, April.
    5. Stephen D. Williamson & Randall Wright, 2010. "New monetarist economics: methods," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 92(May), pages 265-302.
    6. Yi Wen, 2012. "Liquidity and welfare," Working Papers 2012-037, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Han Han & Benoit Julien & Asgerdur Petursdottir & Liang Wang, 2017. "Asset Pricing Equilibria with Indivisible Goods," Working Papers 201705, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    8. Lieb, Lenard & Schuffels, Johannes, 2019. "Inflation expectations and consumer spending: the role of household balance sheets," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search; Money; Inflation; Velocity; Free Entry;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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