Government Intervention in the Inflation Process: The Econometrics of "Self-Inflicted Wounds"
This paper presents a single reduced-form inflation equation that can explain both the variance and acceleration of inflation during the 1970s.Inflation is explained by four sets of factors. Aggregate demand enters through the lagged output ratio and the growth rate of nominal GNP. The adjustment of inflation to changes in aggregate demand is limited by the role of inertia in the inflation process, expressed as the dependence of the rate of change of prices on its own past values. Two types of supply-side elements enter. Government intervention directly altered the price level during the Nixon control era, and in addition the government has aggravated the inflation problem by what have been called "self-inflicted wounds," including increases in the effective social security tax rate and effective minimum wage. Also there have been external supply shocks that are outside of the immediate control of the government, including changes in the relative prices of food and energy, changes in the growth rate of productivity, and changes in the foreign exchange value of the dollar. Considerable attention is given to alternative methods of estimating the impact of direct episodes of government intervention In the price-setting process, particularly during the Nixon controls. We find that such episodes have been futile. Because of their futility, these intervention episodes can be regarded as "self-inflicted wounds," like the payroll tax and minimum wage changes that normally are described by this term.
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Volume (Year): 71 (1981)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Blinder, Alan S. & Newton, William J., 1981.
"The 1971-1974 controls program and the price level : An econometric post-mortem,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-23.
- Alan S. Blinder & William J. Newton, 1981. "The 1971-1974 Controls Program and The Price Level: An Econometric Post-Mortem," NBER Working Papers 0279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Walter Y. Oi, 1976.
"On Measuring the Impact of Wage-Price Controls: A Critical Appraisal,"
425, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Oi, Walter Y., 1976. "On measuring the impact of wage-price controls: A critical appraisal," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-64, January.
- Feige, Edgar L. & Pearce, Douglas K., 1976. "Inflation and incomes policy: An application of time series models," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 273-302, January.
- Robert J. Barro & Mark Rush, 1979.
"Unanticipated Money and Economic Activity,"
NBER Working Papers
0339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1973. "The Responses of Wages and Prices to the First Two Years of Controls," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(3), pages 765-780.
- Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Wachter, Michael L., 1979. "A production function--nonaccelerating inflation approach to potential output : Is measured potential output too high?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 113-163, January.
- Jon Frye & Robert J. Gordon, 1980. "The Variance and Acceleration of Inflation in the 1970s: Alternative Explanatory Models and Methods," NBER Working Papers 0551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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