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Gift Exchange versus Monetary Exchange: Theory and Evidence

  • John Duffy
  • Daniela Puzzello

We study the Lagos and Wright (2005) model of monetary exchange in the laboratory. With a finite population of sufficiently patient agents, this model has a unique monetary equilibrium and a continuum of non-monetary gift exchange equilibria, some of which Pareto dominate the monetary equilibrium. We find that subjects avoid the gift-exchange equilibria in favor of the monetary equilibrium. We also study versions of the model without money where all equilibria involve non-monetary gift-exchange. We find that welfare is higher in the model with money than without money, suggesting that money plays a role as an efficiency enhancing coordination device.

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 449.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision: Sep 2013
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:449
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  1. Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2010. "The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1239, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  2. McCabe, Kevin A., 1989. "Fiat money as a store of value in an experimental market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 215-231, October.
  3. Araujo, Luis, 2004. "Social norms and money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 241-256, March.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  5. Peng Lian & Charles R. Plott, 1998. "General equilibrium, markets, macroeconomics and money in a laboratory experimental environment," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 123-146.
  6. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching," Levine's Working Paper Archive 631, David K. Levine.
  7. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377947 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2004. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000060, David K. Levine.
  9. Jack Ochs & John Duffy, 1999. "Emergence of Money as a Medium of Exchange: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 847-877, September.
  10. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, 2011. "Uncertainty, Inflation, and Welfare," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 487-512, October.
  11. D. Aliprantis, C. & Camera, G. & Puzzello, D., 2007. "Anonymous markets and monetary trading," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1905-1928, October.
  12. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  13. Charalambos Aliprantis & Gabriele Camera & Daniela Puzzello, 2006. "Matching and anonymity," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 415-432, October.
  14. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  15. Araujo, Luis & Camargo, Braz & Minetti, Raoul & Puzzello, Daniela, 2012. "The essentiality of money in environments with centralized trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 612-621.
  16. Charalambos D Aliprantis & Gabriele Camera & Daniela Puzzello, 2007. "Contagion Equilibria in a Monetary Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 277-282, 01.
  17. John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2002. "Intrinsically Worthless Objects as Media of Exchange: Experimental Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 637-674, August.
  18. Deck, Cary A. & McCabe, Kevin A. & Porter, David P., 2006. "Why stable fiat money hyperinflates: Results from an experimental economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 471-486, November.
  19. Brown, Paul M., 1996. "Experimental evidence on money as a medium of exchange," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 583-600, April.
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