Deposit Spreads and the Welfare Cost of Inflation
30 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2018 Last revised: 13 May 2021
Date Written: December 2018
Since bank deposits and currency are substitutes and banks have monopoly power, higher nominal interest rates lead to higher deposit spreads. This raises the cost of transaction services, increases bank profits and attracts entry into the banking sector. Taking these effects into account, a one percentage point increase in inflation has a welfare cost of 0.086% of GDP, 6.9 times higher than traditional estimates.
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