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Monetary policy and forecasting inflation with and without the output gap

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Some observers have worried that under or over-estimating the output gap may unnecessarily induce tightening or loosening of monetary conditions, causing real fluctuations. To investigate the relationship between the output gap and inflation, we examine models of inflation that do and do not use the output gap. The Phillips curve, which relates inflation to real activity, is regarded as the maintained theory of inflation. Models of inflation without the output gap include the equation of exchange of the quantity theory of money, the real interest rate gap, and two versions of the P* model. Since none of these economic models are either totally wrong nor complete, it makes sense to diversify across models rather than relying on one model exclusively. The forecasts derived from different stable models can be combined through averaging, which offsets biases and reduces the forecast error variance. Such model diversification spreads the risks of errors (i.e., insurance about bad outcomes that arise from the reliance on a single model) and provides greater robustness for policy. This paper examines ten different models of inflation and estimates sixty-seven different specifications, some of which outperform others. Some explanatory variables like money and the real interest rate gap seem to provide more information about future inflation than does estimates of output gap.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2002/03.

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Length: 76p
Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2002/03

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Cited by:
  1. Yap, Josef T., 2003. "The Output Gap and Its Role in Inflation-Targeting in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2003-10, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  2. Hans-Eggert Reimers, 2003. "Does Money Include Information for Prices in the Euro Area?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(5), pages 581-602, September.
  3. Kandil, Magda, 2005. "Money, interest, and prices: Some international evidence," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-147.
  4. Pami Dua & Upasna Gaur, 2009. "Determination of Inflation in an Open Economy Phillips Curve Framework-- The Case of Developed and Developing Asian Countries," Working papers 178, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  5. L Christopher Plantier & Dean Scrimgeour, 2002. "Estimating a Taylor Rule for New Zealand with a time-varying neutral real rate," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2002/06, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  6. Olivier Basdevant, 2003. "Learning process and rational expectations: an analysis using a small macroeconomic model for New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2003/05, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  7. Razzak, Weshah, 2003. "A Perspective on Unit Root and Cointegration in Applied Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 1970, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
  8. Basdevant, Olivier, 2005. "Learning process and rational expectations: An analysis using a small macro-economic model for New Zealand," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1074-1089, December.
  9. SOOREEA, Rajeev, 2007. "Are Taylor-Based Monetary Policy Rules Forward-Looking?. An Investigation Using Superexogeneity Tests," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 7(2), pages 87-94.
  10. Michael Graff, 2004. "Estimates of the output gap in real time: how well have we been doing?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP 2004/04, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  11. Olivier Basdevant & David Hargreaves, 2003. "Modelling structural change: the case of New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2003/03, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

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