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Inflation, Prices, and Information in Competitive Search

  • Miquel Faig
  • Belén Jerez

We study the effects of inflation in a competitive search model where each buyer's utility is private information, and where money is essential in facilitating trade. The equilibrium is efficient at the Friedman rule, but inflation creates an inefficiency in the terms of trade. Buyers experience a preference shock after they are matched with a seller, and thus they have a precautionary motive for holding money. Sellers, who compete to attract buyers, post non-linear price schedules to screen out different types of buyers. As inflation rises, sellers post relatively flat price schedules which reduce the need for buyers to hold precautionary balances. These price schedules induce buyers with a low desire to consume to purchase inefficiently high quantities because of the low marginal cost of purchasing goods. In contrast, buyers with a high desire to consume purchase inefficiently low quantities as they face binding liquidity constraints. The reduction of precautionary balances as inflation rises allows the model to fit historical US data on velocity and interest rates.

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-215.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 31 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-215
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera, 2004. "Money, Credit, and Banking," 2004 Meeting Papers 473, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Faig, Miquel, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Demand for Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 847-61, November.
  3. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, . "Money and Information," IEW - Working Papers 099, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Miquel Faig & Belen Jerez, 2006. "Precautionary Balances and the Velocity of Circulation of Money," 2006 Meeting Papers 457, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(1), pages 175-202, 01.
  6. Huberto M. Ennis, 2005. "Search, Money, and Inflation under Private Information," 2005 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Williamson, Steve & Wright, Randall, 1994. "Barter and Monetary Exchange under Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 104-23, March.
  8. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  9. Shouyong Shi, 1996. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Working Papers 930, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. Miquel Faig, 2006. "Divisible Money In An Economy With Villages," Working Papers tecipa-216, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  11. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  12. Miquel Faig & Xiuhua Huangfu, 2006. "Competitive-Search Equilibrium In Monetary Economies," Working Papers tecipa-217, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  13. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "A unified framework for monetary theory and policy analysis," Working Paper 0211, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. Mankiw, N Gregory & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Money Demand and the Effects of Fiscal Policies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(4), pages 415-29, November.
  15. 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.
  16. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  17. Faig, Miquel & Jerez, Belen, 2005. "A theory of commerce," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 60-99, May.
  18. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  19. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Inflation and Welfare in Models with Trading Frictions," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-032, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  20. Camera, Gabriele & Winkler, Johannes, 2003. "International monetary trade and the law of one price," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1531-1553, October.
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