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Modelling Inflation in Australia

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  • David Norman

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Anthony Richards

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

This paper estimates a range of single-equation models of inflation for Australia. We find that traditional models, such as the expectations-augmented standard Phillips curve or mark-up models, outperform the more micro-founded New-Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC) in explaining trimmed mean inflation, both in terms of in-sample fit and significance of coefficients. This in large part reflects the weak instruments problem in the estimation of the NKPC, and is partly corrected by including a direct measure of inflation expectations, but we still find that the unemployment rate or growth in marginal costs (unit labour cost and import prices) provides a better fit than either the output gap or level of real marginal costs. These traditional models also perform well in out-of-sample tests, relative to alternative models and some common benchmarks, with the standard Phillips curve clearly superior to these benchmarks on this test. As inflation has become better anchored and hence less variable, the magnitude of the errors of the single-equation models has declined, although the explanatory power (in terms of R-squared) has fallen together with this greater stability. We also investigate the empirical importance of some other variables that are commonly cited as determinants of inflation, and find little evidence that either commodity prices or the growth rate of money directly influence Australian underlying inflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2010-03.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2010-03

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Keywords: inflation; modelling;

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References

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  1. Kristoffer Nimark & Jarkko Jääskelä, 2008. "A medium-scale open economy model of Australia," Economics Working Papers 1210, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Gunnar Bårdsen & Stan Hurn & Zoë McHugh, 2001. "Modelling Wages and Prices in Australia," Working Paper Series 1202, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 30 Sep 2005.
  3. Michael B. Devereux & Charles Engel, 2001. "Endogenous Currency of Price Setting in a Dynamic Open Economy Model," NBER Working Papers 8559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ken Kuttner & Tim Robinson, 2008. "Understanding the Flattening Phillips Curve," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-15, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  5. Gruen, David & Pagan, Adrian & Thompson, Christopher, 1999. "The Phillips curve in Australia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 223-258, October.
  6. Macallan, Clare & Millard, Stephen & Parker, Miles, 2008. "The cyclicality of mark-ups and profit margins for the United Kingdom: some new evidence," Bank of England working papers 351, Bank of England.
  7. David Gruen & Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone, 2002. "Output Gaps in Real Time: Are They Reliable Enough to Use for Monetary Policy?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2002-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. Alexandra Heath & Ivan Roberts & Tim Bulman, 2004. "Inflation in Australia: Measurement and Modelling," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
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Cited by:
  1. Kitov, Ivan & Kitov, Oleg, 2011. "The Australian Phillips curve and more," MPRA Paper 28762, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Elaine Chung & Marion Kohler & Christine Lewis, 2011. "The Exchange Rate and Consumer Prices," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 9-16, September.

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