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How Inflation Affects Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Investigation

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  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Boris Gershman
  • Peter Howitt

Abstract

We use an agent-based computational approach to show how inflation can worsen macroeconomic performance by disrupting the mechanism of exchange in a decentralized market economy. We find that, in our model economy, increasing the trend rate of inflation above 3 percent has a substantial deleterious effect, but lowering it below 3 percent has no significant macroeconomic consequences. Our finding remains qualitatively robust to changes in parameter values and to modifications to our model that partly address the Lucas critique. Finally, we contribute a novel explanation for why cross-country regressions may fail to detect a significant negative effect of trend inflation on output even when such an effect exists in reality.

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File URL: http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/research/upload/2013-10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013-10.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2013-10

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Web page: http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/

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Keywords: Agent-based computational model; inflation; price dispersion; firm turnover;

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References

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  1. Guy Debelle & Owen Lamont, 1996. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 5627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stockman, Alan C., 1981. "Anticipated inflation and the capital stock in a cash in-advance economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 387-393.
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  7. Ragan, Christopher, 1998. "On the Believable Benefits of Low Inflation," Working Papers 98-15, Bank of Canada.
  8. Quamrul Ashraf & Boris Gershman & Peter Howitt, 2011. "Banks, Market Organization, and Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Analysis," Center for Development Economics 2011-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  9. Allen Head & Alok Kumar, 2005. "Price Dispersion, Inflation, And Welfare," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 533-572, 05.
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  13. Parsley, David C, 1996. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability in the Short and Long Run: New Evidence from the United States," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 323-41, August.
  14. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
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  16. Lach, Saul & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "The Behavior of Prices and Inflation: An Empirical Analysis of Disaggregated Price Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 349-89, April.
  17. Joseph H. Haslag, 1997. "Output, growth, welfare, and inflation: a survey," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 11-21.
  18. Christophe Deissenberg & Sander Van Der Hoog & Herbert Dawid, 2008. "EURACE: A Massively Parallel Agent-Based Model of the European Economy," Working Papers halshs-00339756, HAL.
  19. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Boris Gershman & Peter Howitt, 2011. "Banks, Market Organization, and Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Analysis," NBER Working Papers 17102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ricetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and financial leverage in an agent based macroeconomic model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 7(42), pages 1-44.
  3. Edoardo Gaffeo & Mauro Gallegati & Umberto Gostoli, 2012. "An agent-based "proof of principle" for Walrasian macroeconomic theory," CEEL Working Papers 1202, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  4. Howitt, Peter & Özak, Ömer, 2014. "Adaptive consumption behavior," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 37-61.

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