Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Believable Benefits of Low Inflation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ragan, Christopher

Abstract

This paper reviews the existing theoretical and empirical literature addressing the benefits of low inflation. The ultimate goal is to arrive at a set of benefits in which a monetary authority can have genuine confidence. I argue that the current state of economic research—both empirical and theoretical—provides little basis for believing in significant observable benefits of low inflation such as an increase in the growth rate of real GDP. Moreover, what observable benefits do exist are unlikely to justify a policy of disinflation, even if the transitional costs of disinflation are quite moderate. I conclude that defending a policy of moderate disinflation requires more attention to be paid to the benefits of low inflation that are unobservable in familiar aggregate data. This naturally poses some policy challenges to central banks contemplating a disinflation.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/wp98-15.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 98-15.

as in new window
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:98-15

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/

Related research

Keywords: Inflation: costs and benefits;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Martin Feldstein, 1980. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. V.V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1995. "The growth effects of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 18-32.
  3. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  4. William B. English, 1996. "Inflation and financial sector size," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. 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.
  6. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara J, 1993. "What We Have Learned about Policy and Growth from Cross-Country Regressions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 426-30, May.
  7. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1997. "Unanticipated Money Growth and the Business Cycle Reconsidered," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 624-48, November.
  8. Gomme, P., 1993. "Money and Growth Revisited : Measuring the Costs of Inflation in an Endogenous Growth Model," Discussion Papers dp93-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  9. Martin Evans & Paul Wachtel, 1993. "Inflation regimes and the sources of inflation uncertainty," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 475-520.
  10. De Gregorio, Jose, 1993. "Inflation, taxation, and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 271-298, June.
  11. Argia Sbordone & Kenneth Kuttner, 1994. "Does inflation reduce productivity?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-14.
  12. S. Rao Aiyagari & R. Anton Braun & Zvi Eckstein, 1995. "Transaction services, inflation, and welfare," Working Papers 551, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Paul Gomme, 1991. "Money and growth revisited," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Charles T. Carlstrom & William T. Gavin, 1991. "Zero inflation: transition costs and shoe-leather benefits," Working Paper 9113, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  16. Domberger, Simon, 1987. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: A Disaggregated Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 547-66, June.
  17. Robert J. Shiller, 1996. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 5539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
  19. Bullard, James & Keating, John W., 1995. "The long-run relationship between inflation and output in postwar economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 477-496, December.
  20. Logue, Dennis E & Willett, Thomas D, 1976. "A Note on the Relation between the Rate and Variability of Inflation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(17), pages 151-58, May.
  21. Robert J. Barro, 1995. "Inflation and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 5326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  23. Engle, Robert F, 1983. "Estimates of the Variance of U.S. Inflation Based upon the ARCH Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 286-301, August.
  24. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  25. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  26. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D, 1989. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 733-48, September.
  27. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
  28. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Frenkel, Jacob A, 1973. "Inflation and Growth: Alternative Approaches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 141-56, Part I Fe.
  29. Norman Cameron & Derek Hum & Wayne Simpson, 1996. "Stylized Facts and Stylized Illusions: Inflation and Productivity Revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 152-62, February.
  30. Fischer, Stanley, 1981. "Towards an understanding of the costs of inflation: II," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 5-41, January.
  31. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Ruth Judson & Athanasios Orphanides, 1996. "Inflation, volatility and growth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  33. Summers, Lawrence, 1991. "How Should Long-Term Monetary Policy Be Determined? Panel Discussion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 625-31, August.
  34. Shafir, Eldar & Diamond, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-74, May.
  35. Foster, Edward, 1978. "The Variability of Inflation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 346-50, August.
  36. Pierre Fortin, 1993. "The Unbearable Lightness of Zero-Inflation Optimism," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 15, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Christopher Ragan, 2012. "Financial Stability: The Next Frontier for Canadian Monetary Policy," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 338, January.
  2. Roderick Hill, 2000. "Real Income, Unemployment and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Costs and Benefits of Inflation Reduction in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 399-414, December.
  3. Yong Suk Lee, 2012. "Educational Tracking, Residential Sorting, and Intergenerational Mobility," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  4. Paul Jenkins & Brian O'Reilly, 2001. "Monetary Policy and the Economic Well-being of Canadians," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
  5. Gerald Stuber, 2001. "Implications of Uncertainty about Long-Run Inflation and the Price Level," Working Papers 01-16, Bank of Canada.
  6. Quamrul Ashraf & Boris Gershman & Peter Howitt, 2012. "How Inflation Affects Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Investigation," NBER Working Papers 18225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter Funk & Bettina Kromen, 2006. "Short-term price rigidity in an endogenous growth model: Non-Superneutrality and a non-vertical long-term Phillips-curve," Working Paper Series in Economics 29, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  8. Funk Peter & Kromen Bettina, 2010. "Inflation and Innovation-Driven Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-52, August.
  9. Christopher Ragan, 2011. "Precision Targeting: The Economics – and Politics – of Improving Canada’s Inflation-Targeting Framework," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 321, February.
  10. Pierre Fortin, 2013. "The Macroeconomics of Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity : a Review of the Issues and New Evidence for Canada," Cahiers de recherche 1309, CIRPEE.
  11. Osberg, L. & Sharpe, A., 1998. "An Index of Economic Well-being for Canada," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-08, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  12. Klump, Rainer, 2003. "Inflation, factor substitution and growth," Working Paper Series 0280, European Central Bank.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:98-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.