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Understanding the Flattening Phillips Curve

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  • Ken Kuttner

    (Williams College)

  • Tim Robinson

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

Policy-makers have recently noted an apparent flattening of the Phillips curve. The implications of such a change include that a positive output gap would be less inflationary, but the cost of reducing inflation, once established, would increase. This paper’s objective is to review the evidence and possible explanations for the flattening of the Phillips curve in the context of new-Keynesian economic theory. Using data for the United States and Australia, we find that the flattening is evident in the baseline ‘structural’ new-Keynesian Phillips curve. We consider a variety of reasons for this structural flattening, such as data problems, globalisation and alternative definitions of marginal cost, none of which is entirely satisfactory.

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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2008-05.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2008-05

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Keywords: Phillips curve; inflation;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sean Langcake & Tim Robinson, 2013. "An Empirical BVAR-DSGE Model of the Australian Economy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2013-07, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  2. Benkovskis, Konstantins & Caivano, Michele & D’Agostino, Antonello & Dieppe, Alistair & Hurtado, Samuel & Karlsson, Tohmas & Ortega, Eva & Várnai, Tímea, 2011. "Assessing the sensitivity of inflation to economic activity," Working Paper Series 1357, European Central Bank.
  3. Cagliarini, Adam & Robinson, Tim & Tran, Allen, 2011. "Reconciling microeconomic and macroeconomic estimates of price stickiness," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 102-120, March.
  4. Jaromir Baxa & Miroslav Plasil & Borek Vasicek, 2013. "Inflation and the Steeplechase Between Economic Activity Variables," Working Papers 2013/15, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  5. David Norman & Anthony Richards, 2010. "Modelling Inflation in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2010-03, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Abbas, Syed Kanwar & Sgro, Pasquale M., 2011. "New Keynesian Phillips Curve and inflation dynamics in Australia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 2022-2033, July.
  7. Araújo, Eurilton, 2008. "Robust Monetary Policy with the Consumption-Wealth Channel," Insper Working Papers wpe_110, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  8. Antonia López-Villavicencio & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Nonlinearity of the inflation-output trade-off and time-varying price rigidity," Working Papers 2013-02, CEPII research center.
  9. Sell, Friedrich L. & Reinisch, David C., 2013. "How do Beveridge and Phillips curves in the euro area behave under the stress of the world economic crisis?," Working Papers in Economics 2013,1, Universität der Bundeswehr München, Economic Research Group.
  10. Benjamin Wong, 2013. "The Evolution of the U.S. Output-Inflation Tradeoff," CAMA Working Papers 2013-70, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  11. Steffen Ahrens & Matthias Hartmann, 2014. "State-dependence vs. Time-dependence: An Empirical Multi-Country Investigation of Price Sluggishness," Kiel Working Papers 1907, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  12. Tim Robinson, 2013. "Estimating and Identifying Empirical BVAR-DSGE Models for Small Open Economies," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2013-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  13. Saglio, Sophie & López-Villavicencio, Antonia, 2012. "Introducing price-setting behaviour in the Phillips Curve: the role of nonlinearities," MPRA Paper 46646, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Jeff Borland, 2011. "The Australian Labour Market in the 2000s: The Quiet Decade," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Hugo Gerard & Jonathan Kearns (ed.), The Australian Economy in the 2000s Reserve Bank of Australia.
  15. Andrew Hodge & Tim Robinson & Robyn Stuart, 2008. "A Small BVAR-DSGE Model for Forecasting the Australian Economy," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2008-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  16. Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2012. "Flattening of the Phillips curve and the role of the oil price: An unobserved component model for the USA and Australia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 259-262.
  17. David Norman & Anthony Richards, 2012. "The Forecasting Performance of Single Equation Models of Inflation," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(280), pages 64-78, 03.
  18. Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2011. "Flattening of the Phillips Curve and the Role of Oil Price: An Unobserved Components Model for the USA and Australia," MPRA Paper 29606, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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