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Measuring changes in the value of the numeraire

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  • Ricardo Reis
  • Mark W. Watson

Abstract

This paper estimates a common component in many price series that has an equiproportional effect on all prices. Changes in this component can be interpreted as changes in the value of the numeraire since, by definition, they leave all relative prices unchanged. The first aim of the paper is to measure these changes. The paper provides a framework for identifying this component, suggests an estimator for the component based on a dynamic factor model, and assesses its performance relative to alternative estimators. Using 187 U.S. time-series on prices, we estimate changes in the value of the numeraire from 1960 to 2006, and further decompose these changes into a part that is related to relative price movements and a residual ‘exogenous’ part. The second aim of the paper is to use these estimates to investigate two economic questions. First, we show that the size of exogenous changes in the value of the numeraire helps distinguish between different theories of pricing, and that the U.S. evidence argues against several strict theories of nominal rigidities. Second, we find that changes in the value of the numeraire are significantly related to changes in real quantities, and discuss interpretations of this apparent non-neutrality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1364.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1364

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Keywords: Inflation; Money illusion; Monetary neutrality; Price index;

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References

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  1. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti & Roisin O'Sullivan, 2002. "Asset Prices in the Measurement of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 8700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 2002. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 963-991, June.
  3. Carlos Carvalho, 2005. "Heterogeneity in Price Setting and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," Macroeconomics 0509017, EconWPA, revised 12 Sep 2005.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Implications of Dynamic Factor Models for VAR Analysis," NBER Working Papers 11467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marlene Amstad & Simon Potter, 2009. "Real time underlying inflation gauges for monetary policymakers," Staff Reports 420, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. 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.
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  8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "What Measure of Inflation Should a Central Bank Target?," NBER Working Papers 9375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  10. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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  12. Anonymous, 1994. "Monetary Policy Statement, December 1994," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 57, December.
  13. Buiter, Willem H, 2007. "Is Numérairology the Future of Monetary Economics? Unbundling Numéraire and Medium of Exchange Through a Virtual Currency and a Shadow Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 6099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Veronese, 2001. "A core inflation index for the euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 435, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  15. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "A Dynamic Measure of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 11746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mirko Wiederholt, 2010. "rational inattention," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  17. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
  18. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  19. Carvalho Carlos, 2006. "Heterogeneity in Price Stickiness and the Real Effects of Monetary Shocks," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-58, December.
  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  21. Felipe Schwartzman & Carlos Carvalho, 2008. "Heterogeneous Price Setting Behavior and Monetary Non-neutrality: Some General Results," 2008 Meeting Papers 1040, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Dobrescu, Emilian, 2011. "Sectoral Structure and Economic Growth," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 5-36, September.
  2. Mark A. Wynne, 2008. "How should central banks define price stability?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 08, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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