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Relative Price Skewness and Inflation: A Structural VAR Framework

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  • Attila Rátfai

    ()
    (Central European University)

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    Abstract

    This study evaluates the empirical significance of idiosyncratic pricing shocks in inflation dynamics. To this end, using store-level price data for a selected group of products and employing identification schemes dictated by (S,s) pricing theory, product-level Structural Vector Autoregressions comprised of inflation and relative price skewness are estimated. Robustly to alternative identification assumptions, definitions of the relative price and measures of asymmetry in relative price distributions, idiosyncratic shocks tend to explain about 25 to 30 percent of the forecast error variance in inflation rates at the 12-month horizon. They also lead to substantial build-up in inflation after about 3 to 5 months following the initial disturbance.

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    File URL: http://econ.core.hu/doc/dp/dp/mtdp0103.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0103.

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    Length: 52 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0103

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    Keywords: inflation dynamics (S; s) princing models; structural VAR analysis;

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    1. Ball, L. & Mankiw, N.G., 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1602, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Anil K Kashyap, 1994. "Sticky Prices: New Evidence from Retail Catalogs," NBER Working Papers 4855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Perron, Pierre, 1997. "Further evidence on breaking trend functions in macroeconomic variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 355-385, October.
    4. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-42, October.
    5. Nathan S. Balke & Mark A. Wynne, 1996. "Supply shocks and the distribution of price changes," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 10-18.
    6. Blejer, Mario I, 1983. "On the Anatomy of Inflation: The Variability of Relative Commodity Prices in Argentina," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(4), pages 469-82, November.
    7. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-93, February.
    10. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1999. "Inflation And The Distribution Of Price Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 188-196, May.
    11. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    12. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902, October.
    13. Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Inflation and Relative Prices Evidence from Argentina," UCLA Economics Working Papers 661, UCLA Department of Economics.
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