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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

We 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 non-expectational Phillips curve. A dynamic programming problem implies that the monetary authority's inflation target evolves as its estimated Phillips curve moves. Our estimates attribute the rise and fall of post WWII inflation in the US 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 caused a sharp rise in inflation in the 1970s. Our estimates say that policymakers updated their beliefs continuously. By the 1980s, their beliefs about the Phillips curve had changed enough to account for Volcker's conquest of US inflation in the early 1980s.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10764.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Publication status: published as Sargent, Thomas, Noah Williams and Tao Zha. "Shocks And Government Beliefs: The Rise And Fall Of American Inflation," American Economic Review, 2006, v96(4,Sep), 1193-1224.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10764

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  1. 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, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 157-219, December.
  2. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
  3. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  4. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  6. James D. Hamilton & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2007. "Normalization in Econometrics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 221-252.
  7. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  8. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  9. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams, 2003. "Impacts of priors on convergence and escapes from Nash inflation," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 2003-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Cho, In-Koo & Williams, Noah & Sargent, Thomas J, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40, January.
  11. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
  12. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1851-1882, December.
  13. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, December.
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  15. 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, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033305, December.
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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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