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Instability in U.S. inflation: 1967-2005

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  • James M. Nason

Abstract

Maintaining stables prices and keeping inflation in check have become key policy objectives of the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Evidence indicates that inflation has become less persistent and volatile since the early 1980s. Although economists have examined the implications for inflation modeling and forecasting, little information exists about whether changes or instabilities in inflation dynamics coincide with specific economic events such as oil price shocks or recessions. ; This article studies U.S. monthly inflation, inflation growth, and price level dynamics from January 1967 to September 2005. The author employs four price level measures—two versions of the monthly consumer price index and two versions of the monthly personal consumption expenditure deflator—with the goal of identifying possible instabilities in these dynamics. ; Autoregressive, moving average, and unobserved components models provide estimates on various aspects of inflation and price levels. Two rolling samples spanning the 1967–2005 period are constructed to uncover evidence about possible instability in mean inflation and the persistence and volatility of inflation and inflation growth. ; One way to summarize the empirical results is that this instability coincides with different economic events such as the oil price shocks of the 1970s or the end of the 1990–91 recession. An unresolved question is whether such changes are one-time events or can be expected to be repeated systematically in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Q 2 ()
Pages: 39-59

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2006:i:q2:p:39-59:n:v.91no.2

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance);

References

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  1. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N. & West,K.D., 2004. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation : some theory and empirics," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  3. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
  4. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Chin Te Liu & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "When can we forecast inflation?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-44.
  5. Hansen, Bruce E, 1997. "Approximate Asymptotic P Values for Structural-Change Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 60-67, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Charles S. Bos & Siem Jan Koopman & Marius Ooms, 2007. "Long memory modelling of inflation with stochastic variance and structural breaks," CREATES Research Papers 2007-44, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Pete Klenow & Ben Malin & Mark Bils, 2010. "Reset Price Inflation and the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks," 2010 Meeting Papers 1079, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Gbaguidi S. DAVID, 2011. "Expectations Impact On The Effectiveness Of The Inflation-Real Activity Trade-Off," Theoretical and Practical Research in Economic Fields, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(2), pages 141-182, December.
  4. Gbaguidi, David Sedo, 2011. "Regime Switching in a New Keynesian Phillips Curve with Non-zero Steady-state Inflation Rate," MPRA Paper 35481, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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