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Relative Price Distortions and Inflation Persistence

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  • Tatiana Damjanovic
  • Charles Nolan

Abstract

Sticky-price models often suggest that relative price distortion is a major cost of inflation. We provide an intuition for this: Even at low rates, inflation strongly affects price dispersion which in turn has an impact on the economy qualitatively similar to, and of the order of magnitude of, a negative shift in productivity. The utility cost of price dispersion is quantified and its impact on optimal monetary policy discussed. Price dispersion is incorporated into a linearised model. Strikingly, a contractionary nominal shock has a persistent, negative hump-shaped impact on inflation but may have a positive hump-shaped impact on output. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 547 (09)
Pages: 1080-1099

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:547:p:1080-1099

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  1. Anamaria Nicolae & Charles Nolan, 2004. "The Impact Of Imperfect Credibility In A Transition To Price Stability," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 102, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Richard Mash, 2004. "Optimising Microfoundations for Inflation Persistence," Economics Series Working Papers 183, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  4. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Working Papers 243, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  7. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2005. "Price- and wage- inflation targeting: variations on a theme by Erceg, Henderson, and Levin," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 181-215.
  8. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
  9. Hahn, F H, 1971. "Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(3), pages 417-39, May.
  10. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  11. Gatti, J.R.J. & Kattuman, P., 2003. "Online Price Dispersion Within and Between Seven European Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0343, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  12. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Panel discussion: understanding price determination: where are we now? where should we be going?," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  15. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Stéphane Auray & Aurélien Eyquem, 2012. "Welfare Reversal in Monetary Union," Working Papers 2012-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Guido Ascari & Argia M. Sbordone, 2013. "The Macroeconomics of Trend Inflation," DEM Working Papers Series 053, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
  3. Mohammad Ali Kafaie & Amir Mohammad Moshref, 2013. "Inflation and Relative Price Dispersion: Evidence for Iran," Iranian Economic Review, Economics faculty of Tehran university, vol. 18(1), pages 93-104, winter.
  4. Tatiana Damjanovic & Charles Nolan, 2009. "Second Order Accurate Approximation to the Rotemberg Model Around a Distorted Steady State," CDMA Working Paper Series 200907, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis, revised 15 Apr 2010.
  5. Damjanovic, Tatiana & Damjanovic, Vladislav & Nolan, Charles, 2008. "Unconditionally optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 491-500, April.
  6. Tatiana Damjanovic & Charles Nolan, 2008. "Seigniorage-maximizing inflation," CDMA Working Paper Series 200807, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.

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