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Designing Indexed Units of Account

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  • Robert J. Shiller

Abstract

An indexed unit of account is a unit of measurement defined using an index such as a consumer price index so that prices defined in terms of these units will automatically adjust to changing economic conditions. Evidence on sticky prices and money illusion, and evidence from countries (notably Chile) that have created indexed units of account, suggests that creating such units is an important policy option for governments in countries with unstable price levels. A model is given that shows the dynamics of money prices when prices are expressed in the units. Results from the model suggest some design elements for an indexed unit of account: institutions to promote broad use of the unit for pricing, and a formal policy to increase the frequency of index computation when the price level becomes more volatile.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7160.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Klein, Lawrence R. (ed.) Long-Run Growth and Short-Run Stabilization: Essays in Memory of Albert Ando. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2006.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7160

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  1. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Shiller, Robert J & Schneider, Ryan, 1998. "Labor Income Indices Designed for Use in Contracts Promoting Income Risk Management," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(2), pages 163-82, June.
  3. Bewley, Truman F, 1995. "A Depressed Labor Market as Explained by Participants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 250-54, May.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  5. Robert Shiller, 1998. "Indexed Units of Account: Theory and Assessment of Historical Experience," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 28, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  7. Stanley Fischer & Franco Modigliani, 1978. "Towards an understanding of the real effects and costs of inflation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 114(4), pages 810-833, December.
  8. Shafir, Eldar & Diamond, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-74, May.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, December.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  11. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 1982. "Explorations in the Gold Standard and Related Policies for Stabilizing the Dollar," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 111-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ghost Money: Chile's Unidad de Fomento
    by JP Koning in Moneyness on 2013-09-23 14:57:00
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Blanchard, 2000. "What do we know about Macroeconomics that Fisher and Wicksell did not?," NBER Working Papers 7550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edgardo Barandiarán, 2000. "Chile Después del Peso: Viviendo con el Dólar," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 37(110), pages 241-267.
  3. Jan Overgaard Olesen, . "A Simple Explanation of Stock Price Behavior in the Long Run: Evidence for Denmark," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Hyung Sun Choi & Ohik Kwon & Manjong Lee, 2013. "Inflation, Credit, and Indexed Unit of Account," Discussion Paper Series 1307, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.

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