Is inflation dead?
AbstractIn the past few years the United States has enjoyed the unique economic duet of very low unemployment and declining price inflation. For decades, we have come to associate tight labor markets with accelerating wages and prices. But in 1997, the unemployment rate sank below 5 percent, and neither wage nor price inflation became a problem. Have our inflation processes fundamentally changed for the better? Are we in a new era of permanently better economic performance due to new behavior by our citizens? Or are we simply enjoying good luck in the form of positive supply shocks? A careful reading of the full inflation story reveals that nominal wage inflation has been subdued by exceptionally modest price inflation, according to the author. Real, or price-adjusted, wage inflation has been increasing in response to low unemployment, just as in past decades. Price inflation has been held down by a set of "supply shocks," including a strong dollar, falling energy prices, and a cost-reducing regime shift in the healthcare industry. Inflation is not dead, and as supply shocks shift to neutral or worse, tight labor markets will create a traditional inflation problem.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its journal New England Economic Review.
Volume (Year): (1999)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Brinner, Roger E, 1977. "The Death of the Phillips Curve Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 389-418, August.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1972. "Wage-Price Controls and the Shifting Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 385-430.
- George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
- Lynn Elaine Browne, 1999. "U.S economic performance: good fortune, bubble, or new era?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 3-20.
- Rebecca L Driver & Jennifer V Greenslade & Richard G Pierse, 2003. "The role of expectations in estimates of the NAIRU in the United States and the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 180, Bank of England.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.