NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Inefficient Provision of Liquidity

Oliver D. Hart, Luigi Zingales

NBER Working Paper No. 17299
Issued in August 2011
NBER Program(s):   CF

We study an economy where the lack of a simultaneous double coincidence of wants creates the need for a relatively safe asset (money). We show that, even in the absence of asymmetric information or an agency problem, the private provision of liquidity is inefficient. The reason is that liquidity affects prices and the welfare of others, and creators do not internalize this. This distortion is present even if we introduce lending and government money. To eliminate the inefficiency the government must restrict the creation of liquidity by the private sector.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17299

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