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Money and Information


Berentsen, Aleksander; Rocheteau, Guillaume (2002). Money and Information. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 99, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of fiat money in decentralized markets, where producers have private information about the quality of the goods they supply. Money is divisible, terms of trade are determined endogenously, and agents can finance their consumption with money or with real production. When the fraction of high quality producers in the economy is given, money promotes the production of high-quality goods, which improves the quality mix and welfare unambiguously. When this fraction is endogenous, however, we find that money can be valued even though it decreases welfare relative to the barter equilibrium. The origin of this inefficiencynis that money provides consumption insurance to low-quality producers, which can result in a higher fraction of low-quality producers in the monetary equilibrium. Finally, we find that most often agents acquire more information in the monetary equilibrium. Consequently, money is welfare-enhancing because it promotes usefulnproduction and exchange, but not because it saves information costs.

This paper investigates the role of fiat money in decentralized markets, where producers have private information about the quality of the goods they supply. Money is divisible, terms of trade are determined endogenously, and agents can finance their consumption with money or with real production. When the fraction of high quality producers in the economy is given, money promotes the production of high-quality goods, which improves the quality mix and welfare unambiguously. When this fraction is endogenous, however, we find that money can be valued even though it decreases welfare relative to the barter equilibrium. The origin of this inefficiencynis that money provides consumption insurance to low-quality producers, which can result in a higher fraction of low-quality producers in the monetary equilibrium. Finally, we find that most often agents acquire more information in the monetary equilibrium. Consequently, money is welfare-enhancing because it promotes usefulnproduction and exchange, but not because it saves information costs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2002
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:10
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-51999

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