The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper studies the effect of inflation on the operation of financial markets, and shows how the ability of financial intermediaries to distinguish among heterogenous firms is reduced as inflation rises. This point is illustrated by presenting a simple model where inflation affects firms’ productivity. In particular, productivity differentials narrow as inflation increases. This effect creates incentives for risky and less productive firms to behave as high productivity firms. At high rates of inflation this may result in financial intermediaries being unable to differentiate among customers.