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The Optimal Rate of Inflation

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  • Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martín

Abstract

Observed inflation targets around the industrial world are concentrated at two percent per year. This paper investigates the extent to which the observed magnitudes of inflation targets are consistent with the optimal rate of inflation predicted by leading theories of monetary non-neutrality. We find that consistently those theories imply that the optimal rate of inflation ranges from minus the real rate of interest to numbers insignificantly above zero. Furthermore, we argue that the zero bound on nominal interest rates does not represent an impediment for setting inflation targets near or below zero. Finally, we find that central banks should adjust their inflation targets upward by the size of the quality bias in measured inflation only if hedonic prices are more sticky than are non-quality-adjusted prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7864.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7864

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Related research

Keywords: downward nominal rigidities; foreign demand for money; Friedman Rule; quality bias; Ramsey policy; sticky-prices; zero bound;

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References

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  1. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter For Recent U.S. Inflation?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 277, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  3. Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Tax evasion and the optimal inflation tax," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 215-232, February.
  4. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
  5. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation stabilization and welfare: The case of a distorted steady state," Discussion Papers 0405-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, January.
  7. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  8. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Henning Weber, 2011. "Optimal inflation and firms' productivity dynamics," Kiel Working Papers 1685, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 16095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rhee, Hyuk Jae & Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2013. "Central bank transparency: Does it matter?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 183-197.
  4. Niemann, Stefan & Pichler, Paul & Sorger, Gerhard, 2013. "Public debt, discretionary policy, and inflation persistence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1097-1109.
  5. Tao Peng, 2012. "A Note on the implementation of the Pareto efficient allocation in the Lagos-Wright model," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 27-36.
  6. Gary S. Anderson & Jinill Kim & Tack Yun, 2010. "Using a projection method to analyze inflation bias in a micro-founded model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Otmar Issing, 2011. "Lessons for monetary policy: what should the consensus be?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 81, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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