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Near-rationality and inflation in two monetary regimes

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  • Laurence Ball

Abstract

Sticky-price models with rational expectations fail to capture the inertia in US inflation Models with backward-looking expectations capture current inflation behavior but are unlikely to fit other monetary regimes This paper seeks to overcome these problems with a near-rational model of expectations In the model agents make univariate forecasts of inflation: they use information on past inflation optimally but they ignore other variables The paper tests sticky-price models with near-rational expectations for two periods in US history the post-1960 period of persistent inflation and the period from 1879 to 1914 when inflation was not persistent The models fit the data for both periods; in contrast both rational-expectations and backward-looking models fail for at least one period

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2000:x:4

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Monetary policy;

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  1. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C45-61, May.
  2. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roberts, John M., 1997. "Is inflation sticky?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Beyond the Natural Rate Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 182-87, May.
  5. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  7. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles, 1996. "The Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks: Evidence from the Flow of Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 16-34, February.
  8. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "The (Un)Importance of Forward-Looking Behavior in Price Specifications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 338-50, August.
  9. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  10. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  11. Gordon, Robert J, 1980. "A Consistent Characterization of a Near-Century of Price Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 243-49, May.
  12. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  13. John H. Cochrane, 1988. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  15. Laurence Ball, 1991. "The Genesis of Inflation and the Costs of Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 3621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
  17. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of operational policy rules in an estimated semi-classical structural model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  18. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Alogoskoufis, George S & Smith, Ron, 1991. "The Phillips Curve, the Persistence of Inflation, and the Lucas Critique: Evidence from Exchange-Rate Regimes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1254-75, December.
  20. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  21. McCallum, Bennett T, 1976. "Rational Expectations and the Natural Rate Hypothesis: Some Consistent Estimates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 43-52, January.
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