We develop a model of decentralized monetary exchange that can be used to examine the distributional effects of inflation across heterogeneous agents who have private information. The private information can be about the productivity, preferences, or money holdings of the agents. Matching is multilateral and each seller is visited by a stochastic number of buyers. The good is allocated according a second-price auction in money. In equilibrium, homogeneous buyers hold different amounts of money leading to price dispersion. We find the closed-form solution for the distribution of money holdings. Entry of sellers is suboptimal except at the Friedman rule. When agents differ in productivity, inflation acts as a regressive tax, at least for moderate rates of money growth.
A Model of Money with Multilateral Matching
Journal of Monetary Economics, 2008, Vol. 55, pp. 1054-1066. With M. Galenianos.
We characterize price dispersion and welfare in a monetary model with private information: inflation is regressive even though the rich hold more money.
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