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Inflation Persistence and the Phillips Curve Revisited

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  • Marika Karanassou

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London and IZA)

  • Dennis J. Snower

    ()
    (Institute for World Economics, CEPR and IZA)

Abstract

A major criticism against staggered nominal contracts is that they give rise to the so called "persistency puzzle" - although they generate price inertia, they cannot account for the stylised fact of inflation persistence. It is thus commonly asserted that, in the context of the new Phillips curve (NPC), inflation is a jump variable. We argue that this "persistency puzzle" is highly misleading, relying on the exogeneity of the forcing variable (e.g. output gap, marginal costs, unemployment rate) and the assumption of a zero discount rate. We show that when the discount rate is positive in a general equilibrium setting (in which real variables not only affect inflation, but are also influenced by it), standard wage-price staggering models can generate both substantial inflation persistence and a nonzero inflation-unemployment tradeoff in the long-run. This is due to frictional growth, a phenomenon that captures the interplay of nominal staggering and permanent monetary changes. We also show that the cumulative amount of inflation undershooting is associated with a downward-sloping NPC in the long-run.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 586.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp586

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Keywords: Inflation dynamics; Persistence; Wage-price staggering; New Phillips curve; Monetary policy; Frictional growth;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala & Dennis J. Snower, 2008. "The Evolution Of Inflation And Unemployment: Explaining The Roaring Nineties," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 334-354, December.
  2. Marika Karanassou & Hector Sala, 2008. "Productivity Growth and the Phillips Curve: A Reassessment of the US Experience," Discussion Papers 2008-06, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  3. Bentolila, Samuel & Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 2008. "Does immigration affect the Phillips curve? Some evidence for Spain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1398-1423, November.
  4. Adolfo Sachsida & Marcio Ribeiro & Claudio Hamilton dos Santos, 2009. "A Curva de Phillips e a Experiência Brasileira," Discussion Papers 1430, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  5. Andrew Phiri, 2012. "Threshold effects and inflation persistence in South Africa," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(3), pages 247-269, August.
  6. Markus Knell & Alfred Stiglbauer, 2009. "The Impact of Reference Norms on Inflation Persistence When Wages are Staggered," Working Papers 153, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).

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