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Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation

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  • Paola Boel
  • Gabriele Camera

Abstract

The welfare cost of anticipated inflation is quantified in a calibrated model of the U.S. economy that exhibits tractable equilibrium dispersion in wealth and earnings. Inflation does not generate large losses in societal welfare, yet its impact varies noticeably across segments of society depending also on the financial sophistication of the economy. If money is the only asset, then inflation hurts mostly the wealthier and more productive agents, while those poorer and less productive may even benefit from inflation. The converse holds in a more sophisticated financial environment where agents can insure against consumption risk with assets other than money.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Boel & Gabriele Camera, 2009. "Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1222, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Antinolfi, Gaetano & Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James, 2016. "The Optimal Inflation Target In An Economy With Limited Enforcement," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 582-600, March.
    2. Ohik Kwon & Manjong Lee, 2020. "Credit Market Frictions and Coessentiality of Money and Credit," Working Papers 2020-23, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    3. Boel, Paola, 2018. "The redistributive effects of inflation and the shape of money demand," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 208-219.
    4. Boel, Paola & Camera, Gabriele, 2009. "Financial sophistication and the distribution of the welfare cost of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 968-978, October.
    5. Yi-Heng Chen & Ho-Chuan Huang & Kuang-Ping Ku, 2015. "The effects of inflation and openness on inequality across alternative monetary regimes," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 291-298, March.
    6. Kakar, Venoo, 2014. "On the Redistributional Effects of Long-Run Inflation in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," MPRA Paper 55687, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, . "Short-Run Dynamics in a Search-Theoretic Model of Monetary Exchange," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Ohik Kwon & Manjong Lee, 2016. "Credit Market Frictions and Coessentiality of Money and Credit," Discussion Paper Series 1602, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    9. Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2012. "The cost of inflation: A mechanism design approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 1261-1279.
    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. André C. Silva, 2012. "Rebalancing Frequency and the Welfare Cost of Inflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 153-183, April.
    12. Gabriele Camera & Yili Chien, 2016. "Two Monetary Models with Alternating Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(5), pages 1051-1064, August.
    13. Lorenzo Menna & Patrizio Tirelli, 2014. "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policies," Working Papers 284, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2014.
    14. Gabriele Camera & YiLi Chien, 2013. "Modeling monetary economies: an equivalence result," Working Papers 2013-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    15. Gabriele Camera & Yili Chien, 2014. "Understanding the Distributional Impact of Long‐Run Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(6), pages 1137-1170, September.
    16. Lorenzo Menna & Patrizio Tirelli, 2017. "Optimal inflation to reduce inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 79-94, March.
    17. Hongfei Sun & Chenggang Zhou, 2018. "Monetary and fiscal policies in a heterogeneous‐agent economy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(3), pages 747-783, August.
    18. Boel, Paola, 2013. "The Redistributive Effects of Inflation: an International Perspective," Working Paper Series 274, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Feb 2017.
    19. Paola Boel, 2017. "The Redistributive Effects of Inflation and the Shape of Money Demand," LWS Working papers 25, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    20. TINA M. Edgar A. Ghossoub, 2012. "Economic Development and the Welfare Costs of Inflation It has been widely observed that the role of money in the ?nancial system varies across developing and advanced countries. While the connections," Working Papers 0034, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    21. Hamid Beladi & Edgar Ghossoub, 2012. "Central Bank Liquidity Provision and Financial Sector Competition This paper presents a general equilibrium production economy where money is essential and financial intermediaries provide important e," Working Papers 0002, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    22. Lorenzo Menna & Patrizio Tirelli, 2017. "Optimal inflation to reduce inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 79-94, March.
    23. Jonathan Chiu & Miguel Molico, . "Short-Run Dynamics in a Search-Theoretic Model of Monetary Exchange," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    money; heterogeneity; friedman rule; trade frictions; calibration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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