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The great inflation of the 1970s

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  • Collard, Fabrice
  • Dellas, Harris

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

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0336.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040336

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Keywords: imperfect information; indeterminacy; inflation; Kalman filter; policy rule;

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References

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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2000. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Working Paper Series 0015, European Central Bank.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2003. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1611-1638, July.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2002-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. 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.
  6. James B. Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2004. "Did the Great Inflation occur despite policymaker commitment to a Taylor rule?," Working Papers 2003-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  8. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Working Paper Series 0115, European Central Bank.
  9. Alex Cukierman & Francesco Lippi, 2003. "Endogenous Monetary Policy with Unobserved Potential Output," CEIS Research Paper 26, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  10. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2002. "Monetary Policy and Stagflation in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2004. "The New Keynesian Model with Imperfect Information and Learning," IDEI Working Papers 273, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

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