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The great inflation of the 1970s

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  • F. Collard
  • H. Dellas

Abstract

Was the high inflation of the 1970s mostly due to incomplete information about the structure of the economy (an unavoidable mistake as suggested by Orphanides, 2000)? Or, to weak reaction to expected inflation and/or excessive policy activism that led to indeterminacies (a policy mistake, a scenario suggested by Clarida, Gali and Gertler, 2000)? We study this question within the NNS model with policy commitment and imperfect information, requiring that the model have satisfactory overall empirical performance. We find that both explanations do a good job in accounting for the great inflation. Even with the commonly used specification of the interest policy rule, high and persistent inflation can occur following a significant productivity slowdown if policymakers significantly and persistently underestimate ”core” inflation. JEL Classification: E32, E52

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): ()
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgpr:y:2003:x:1

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance);

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References

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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1984. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  4. Michael Ehrmann and Frank Smets, 2001. "Uncertain Potential Output: Implications for Monetary Policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 8, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  6. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Stagflation in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2002-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. James Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2005. "Did the Great Inflation Occur Despite Policymaker Commitment to a Taylor Rule?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 324-359, April.
  9. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Working Paper Series 0012, European Central Bank.
  10. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Alex Cukierman & Francesco Lippi, 2003. "Endogenous Monetary Policy with Unobserved Potential Output," CEIS Research Paper 26, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  13. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2004. "The New Keynesian Model with Imperfect Information and Learning," IDEI Working Papers 273, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Sharon Kozicki & P.A. Tinsley, 2007. "Perhaps the FOMC Did What It Said It Did: An Alternative Interpretation of the Great Inflation," Working Papers 07-19, Bank of Canada.

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