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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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    1. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & C hristopher W aller, 2005. "The Distribution Of Money Balances And The Nonneutrality Of Money," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 465-487, May.
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    Citations

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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, pages 582-600.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Ricardo Nunes & Jinill Kim & Jesper Linde & Davide Debortoli, 2014. "Designing a Simple Loss Function for the Fed: Does the Dual Mandate Make Sense?," 2014 Meeting Papers 1043, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2012. "The cost of inflation: A mechanism design approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 1261-1279.
    6. Hoernig, Steffen, 2014. "The strength of the waterbed effect depends on tariff type," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 291-294.
    7. André C. Silva, 2012. "Rebalancing Frequency and the Welfare Cost of Inflation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 153-183.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Camera, Gabriele & Chien, YiLi, 2013. "Modeling monetary economies: an equivalence result," Working Papers 2013-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 01 Nov 2015.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    money; heterogeneity; friedman rule; trade frictions; calibration;

    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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