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Inflation persistence: Alternative interpretations and policy implications

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  • Sbordone, Argia M.

Abstract

In this paper, I consider the policy implications of two alternative structural interpretations of observed inflation persistence, which correspond to two alternative specifications of the new Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC). The first specification allows for some degree of intrinsic persistence by way of a lagged inflation term in the NKPC. The second is a purely forward-looking model, in which expectations farther into the future matter and coefficients are time-varying. In this specification, most of the observed inflation persistence is attributed to fluctuations in the underlying inflation trend, which are a consequence of monetary policy rather than a structural feature of the economy. With a simple quantitative exercise, I illustrate the consequences of implementing monetary policy, assuming a degree of intrinsic persistence that differs from the true one. The results suggest that the costs of implementing a stabilization policy when the policymaker overestimates the degree of intrinsic persistence are potentially higher than the costs of ignoring actual structural persistence; the result is more clear-cut when the policymaker minimizes a welfare-based loss function.>

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 1311-1339

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:1311-1339

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & David Lopez-Salido, 2005. "Robustness of the Estimates of the Hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 11788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach," Staff Reports 256, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2000. "European Inflation Dynamics," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0020, Banco de Espa�a.
  14. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A search for a structural Phillips curve," Staff Reports 203, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Guido Ascari, 2004. "Staggered Prices and Trend Inflation: Some Nuisances," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 642-667, July.
  16. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Research, National Bank of Belgium 61, National Bank of Belgium.
  17. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 93-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research, National Bank of Belgium 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  20. Sbordone, Argia M., 2005. "Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1183-1197, September.
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