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Money illusion and coordination failure

Author

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  • Ernst Fehr
  • Jean-Robert Tyran

Abstract

Economists long considered money illusion to be largely irrelevant. Here we show, however, that money illusion has powerful effects on equilibrium selection. If we represent payoffs in nominal terms, choices converge to the Pareto inefficient equilibrium; however, if we lift the veil of money by representing payoffs in real terms, the Pareto efficient equilibrium is selected. We also show that strategic uncertainty about the other players' behavior is key for the equilibrium selection effects of money illusion: even though money illusion vanishes over time if subjects are given learning opportunities in the context of an individual optimization problem, powerful and persistent effects of money illusion are found when strategic uncertainty prevails.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernst Fehr & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2004. "Money illusion and coordination failure," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-02, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-02
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Money illusion; coordination failure; equilibrium selection; multiple equilibria; coordination games;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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