242 research outputs found

    Game-theoretic foundations of monetary equilibrium : [Version 30 September 2013]

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    Monetary theorists have advanced an intriguing notion: we exchange money to make up for a lack of enforcement, when it is difficult to monitor and sanction opportunistic behaviors. We demonstrate that, in fact, monetary equilibrium cannot generally be sustained when monitoring and punishment limitations preclude enforcement — external or not. Simply put, monetary systems cannot operate independently of institutions — formal or informal — designed to monitor behaviors and sanction undesirable ones. This fundamental result is derived by integrating monetary theory with the theory of repeated games, studying monetary equilibrium as the outcome of a matching game with private monitoring

    Two monetary models with alternating markets : [Version 28 October 2013]

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    We present a thought-provoking study of two monetary models: the cash-in-advance and the Lagos and Wright (2005) models. We report that the different approach to modeling money — reduced-form vs. explicit role — neither induces theoretical nor quantitative differences in results. Given conformity of preferences, technologies and shocks, both models reduce to one difference equation. The equations do not coincide only if price distortions are differentially imposed across models. To illustrate, when cash prices are equally distorted in both models equally large welfare costs of inflation are obtained in each model. Our insight is that if results differ, then this is due to differential assumptions about the pricing mechanism that governs cash transactions, not the explicit microfoundation of money

    Price Dispersion with Directed Search.

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    We study a market where identical capacity-constrained sellers compete to attract identical buyers, via price advertisements. Once buyers reach a store, prices might be renegotiable in a manner that is responsive to excess demand. We focus strongly symmetric equilibria, proving their existence and providing explicit solutions for the distributions of advertised and sale prices as functions of market characteristics. Since variations in the posted price can affect the store’s attractiveness and the incidence of haggling, the model endogenizes the ‘pricing convention’ prevailing in the market and generates several empirically testable predictions on market behavior.Directed Search ; Endogenous Trading Mechanisms ; Market Frictions ; Price Dispersion

    Cooperation among strangers: an experiment with indefinite interaction

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    We study the emergence of norms of cooperation in experimental economies populated by strangers interacting indefinitely and lacking formal enforcement institutions. In all treatments the efficient outcome is sustainable as an equilibrium. We address the following questions: can these economies achieve full efficiency? Which institutions for monitoring and enforcement promote cooperation? Finally, what classes of strategies are employed to achieve high efficiency? We find that, first, cooperation can be sustained even in anonymous settings; second, some type of monitoring and punishment institutions significantly promote cooperation; and, third, subjects dislike indiscriminate strategies and prefer selective strategies.experiments, repeated games, cooperation, equilibrium selection, prisoners’ dilemma, random matching

    Financial Sophistication and the Distribution of the Welfare Cost of Inflation

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    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.money, heterogeneity, friedman rule, trade frictions, calibration

    Efficient Monetary Allocations and the Illiquidity of Bonds.

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    We construct a monetary economy with heterogeneity in discounting and consumption risk. Agents can insure against this risk with both money and nominal government bonds, but all trades must be monetized. We demonstrate that a deflationary policy a la Friedman cannot sustain the efficient allocation. The reason is that no-arbitrage imposes a stringent bound on the return money can pay. The efficient allocation can be sustained when bonds have positive yields and – under certain conditions – only if they are illiquid. Illiquidity – meaning bonds cannot be transformed into consumption as efficiently as cash – is necessary to eliminate arbitrage opportunities.Money ; Heterogeneity ; Friedman Rule ; Illiquid Assets

    Bilateral Matching and Latin Squares

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    We study equilibrium prices and trade volume with n identical buyers and a seller who initially commits to some capacity. Sales are sequential and each price is determined by strategic bargaining. A unique sub-game perfect equilibrium exists. It is characterized by absence of costly bargaining delays and each trade is settled at a different price. Prices increase with n and fall in the seller’s capacity, so if buyers have significant bargaining power, then the seller will strategically constrain capacity to less than n. Thus, despite the efficiency of the bargaining solution, certain distributions of bargaining powers give rise to an allocative inefficiency.Commitment ; Inefficiency ; Peripheral players ; Price heterogeneity ; Strategic bargaining

    The Coordination Value of Monetary Exchange: Experimental Evidence

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    A new behavioral foundation is uncovered for why money promotes impersonal exchange. In an experiment, subjects could cooperate by intertemporally exchanging goods with anonymous opponents met at random. Indefinite repetition supported multiple equilibria, from full defection to the efficient outcome. Introducing the possibility to hold and exchange intrinsically worthless tickets affected outcomes and cooperation patterns. Tickets resembled fiat money, which emerged as a tool for equilibrium selection in the economy. Monetary exchange facilitated coordination on cooperation and redistributed surplus from defectors to cooperators. Treatments where subjects could develop a reputation revealed a limited record-keeping role for monetary exchange.money, cooperation, information, trust, folk theorem, repeated games

    Search, Dealers, and the Terms of Trade

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    I study a search-theoretic model with pairwise meetings where dealers arise endogenously. The extent of intermediation depends on its cost, trade frictions, and the dealers’ ability to negotiate favorable terms of trade. Under Nash bargaining, there is a unique equilibrium where dealers buy and hold the low-storage-cost good and, depending on their relative bargaining power, resell it at a premium or a discount. The distribution of the terms of trade is non-degenerate unless storage cost and frictions vanish. Due to an externality created by intermediation, the efficient allocation can be achieved only if dealers can charge a positive markup

    Money, Search and Costly Matchmaking

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    I examine the robustness of monetary equilibria in a random matching model where a more efficient mechanism for trade is available. Agents choose between two trading sectors: the search and the intermediated sector. In the former, trade partners arrive randomly and there is a trading externality. In the latter a costly matching technology provides deterministic double-coincidence matches. Multiple equilibria exist with the extent of costly matching endogenously determined. Money and “mediated” trade may coexist. This depends on the size of the probability of a trade, relative to the cost of deterministic matching. This outcome is inferior for an increasing returns externality. Under certain conditions regimes with only costly matching are welfare superior to monetary regimes with random matching
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