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The expectations trap hypothesis

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  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Christopher Gust

Abstract

This article explores a hypothesis about the take-off in inflation in the early 1970s. According to the expectations trap hypothesis, the Fed was driven to high money growth by a fear of violating the expectations of high inflation that existed at the time. The authors argue that this hypothesis is more compelling than the Phillips curve hypothesis, according to which the Fed produced the high inflation as an unfortunate by product of a conscious decision to jump start a weak economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 21-39

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2000:i:qii:p:21-39:n:v.25no.2

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Phillips curve;

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References

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  1. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
  4. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
  6. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, July.
  7. John H. Cochrane, 1998. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Working Papers 6646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?," NBER Working Papers 7940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. William Kerr & Robert G. King, 1996. "Limits on interest rate rules in the IS model," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 47-75.
  10. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1998. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 462-492, August.
  11. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, July.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 1999. "Taylor Rules in a Limited Participation Model," NBER Working Papers 7017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  14. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
  15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Modeling Money," NBER Working Papers 6371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2000. "Understanding the Fiscal Theory of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 7668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-12.
  18. Martin Feldstein, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Going from Low Inflation to Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 5469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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