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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. Miquel Faig, 2004. "Divisible Money in an Economy with Villages," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 248, Econometric Society.
  2. Guillaume Rocheteau & Randall Wright, 2003. "Money in Search Equilibrium, in Competitive Equilibrium, and in Competitive Search Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Shouyong Shi, 1996. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Working Papers 930, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Faig, Miquel, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Demand for Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 847-61, November.
  6. Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2005. "A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 463-484, June.
  7. Aleksander Berentsen & Gabriele Camera & Christopher Waller, . "Money, Credit and Banking," IEW - Working Papers 219, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Huberto M. Ennis, 2005. "Search, Money, and Inflation under Private Information," 2005 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Miquel Faig & Belén Jerez, 2007. "Precautionary Balances and the Velocity of Circulation of Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 843-873, 06.
  10. 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.
  11. Williamson, S. & Wright, R., 1991. "Barter and Monetary Exchange Under Private Information," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 9107, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
  12. Faig, Miquel & Jerez, Belen, 2005. "A theory of commerce," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 60-99, May.
  13. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  14. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Aleksander Berentsen & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2004. "Money and Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 915-944.
  17. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  18. Faig, Miquel & Huangfu, Xiuhua, 2007. "Competitive-search equilibrium in monetary economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 709-718, September.
  19. 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.
  20. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
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