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 examines the welfare effects of mitigating the costs of inflation. In a simple model where money reduces transaction costs, a fall in the costs of inflation is equivalent to financial innovation. This can be caused by paying interest on deposits, indexing money, or “dollarizing.” Results indicate that financial innovation raises welfare in low inflation economies while reducing it in high inflation economies, due to the offsetting indirect effect of higher inflation to finance the budget.