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Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Redux

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  • Raphael Schoenle

    (Brandeis University)

  • Gauti Eggertsson

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Saroj Bhattarai

    (Penn State University)

Abstract

We study the implications of increased price flexibility on aggregate output volatility in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. First, using a simplified version of the model, we show analytically that the results depend on the shocks driving the economy and the systematic response of monetary policy to inflation: More flexible prices amplify the effect of demand shocks on output if interest rates do not respond strongly to inflation, while higher flexibility amplifies the effect of supply shocks on output if interest rates are very responsive to inflation. Next, we estimate a medium-scale DSGE model using post-WWII U.S. data and Bayesian methods and, conditional on the estimates of structural parameters and shocks, ask: Would the U.S. economy have been more or less stable had prices been more flexible than historically? Our main finding is that increased price flexibility would have been destabilizing for output and employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 487.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:487

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  1. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2007. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," Discussion Papers 07-007, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  7. Igor Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens & Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé, 2003. "Evolutionary Stable Stock Markets," Discussion Papers 03-39, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. De Long, James Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1031-44, December.
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  10. LeBaron, Blake, 2012. "Heterogeneous gain learning and the dynamics of asset prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 424-445.
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Cited by:
  1. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2013. "Understanding the Gains from Wage Flexibility: The Exchange Rate Connection," Working Papers 746, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Jae Sim & Raphael Schoenle & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2013. "Inflation Dynamics During the Financial Crisis," 2013 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Marc Giannoni & Gauti Eggertsson, 2013. "The Inflation Output Trade-Off Revisited," 2013 Meeting Papers 1120, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Jordi Galí & Tommaso Monacelli, 2013. "Understanding the gains from wage flexibility: The exchange rate connection," Economics Working Papers 1408, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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