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Shocks and government beliefs: the rise and fall of American inflation

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  • Thomas Sargent
  • Noah Williams
  • Tao Zha

Abstract

The authors use a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate a model that allows temporary gaps between a true expectational Phillips curve and the monetary authority’s approximating nonexpectational Phillips curve. A dynamic programming problem implies that the monetary authority’s inflation target evolves as its estimated Phillips curve moves. The authors’ estimates attribute the rise and fall of post-World War II inflation in the United States to an intricate interaction between the monetary authority’s beliefs and economic shocks. Shocks in the 1970s altered the monetary authority’s estimates and made it misperceive the tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. That misperception caused a sharp rise in inflation in the 1970s. The authors’ estimates indicate that policy makers updated their beliefs continuously. By the 1980s, policy makers’ beliefs about the Phillips curve had changed enough to account for Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s conquest of U.S. inflation in the early 1980s.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2004-22.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2004-22

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  1. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  2. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  3. Sims, Christopher A & Zha, Tao, 1998. "Bayesian Methods for Dynamic Multivariate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 949-68, November.
  4. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's inflation target: causes and consequences," Working Papers 05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. King, Robert G. & Watson, Mark W., 1994. "The post-war U.S. phillips curve: a revisionist econometric history," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 157-219, December.
  6. John Geweke, 1998. "Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication," Staff Report 249, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  8. James D. Hamilton & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2007. "Normalization in Econometrics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 221-252.
  9. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
  10. Henry W. Chappell, Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2005. "Committee Decisions on Monetary Policy: Evidence from Historical Records of the Federal Open Market Committee," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033305, December.
  11. William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah William, 2005. "Impacts of Priors on Convergence and Escapes from Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 360-391, April.
  13. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, December.
  14. Cogley, Timothy & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005. "The conquest of U.S. inflation: learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0478, European Central Bank.
  15. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
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  1. [??]A prophecy that misread could have been...
    by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-11-05 08:00:00
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