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Inflation-Gap Persistence in the US

  • Timothy Cogley
  • Giorgio E. Primiceri
  • Thomas J. Sargent

We estimate vector autoregressions with drifting coefficients and stochastic volatility to investigate whether US inflation persistence has changed. We focus on the inflation gap, defined as the difference between inflation and trend inflation, and we measure persistence in terms of short- to medium-term predictability. We present evidence that inflation-gap persistence increased during the Great Inflation and that it fell after the Volcker disinflation. We interpret these changes using a dynamic new Keynesian model that highlights the importance of changes in the central bank's inflation target. (JEL E12, E31, E52, E58)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.2.1.43
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 43-69

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:43-69
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.2.1.43
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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  1. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1193-1224, September.
  2. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  3. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
  4. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  5. Andrew T. Levin & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "Is inflation persistence intrinsic in industrial economies?," Working Papers 2002-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  7. Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian, 2001. "Measuring predictability: theory and macroeconomic applications," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 657-669.
  8. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 0851, European Central Bank.
  9. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  10. Cogley, Timothy W. & Morozov, Sergei & Sargent, Thomas J., 2003. "Bayesian fan charts for UK inflation: Forecasting and sources of uncertainty in an evolving monetary system," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/44, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Del Negro, Marco & Schorfheide, Frank & Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2005. "On the fit and forecasting performance of New-Keynesian models," Working Paper Series 0491, European Central Bank.
  12. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Evolving Post-World War II U.S. Inflation Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 331-388 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hanson, Michael S., 2006. "Varying monetary policy regimes: A vector autoregressive investigation," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(5-6), pages 407-427.
  14. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  15. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  16. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1999. "Error Bands for Impulse Responses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1113-1156, September.
  17. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's inflation target: causes and consequences," Working Papers 05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  18. Cogley, Timothy & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005. "The conquest of U.S. inflation: learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0478, European Central Bank.
  19. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "Trend inflation and inflation persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Staff Reports 270, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  21. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  22. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  23. Andreas Beyer & Roger E. A. Farmer, 2007. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 524-529, March.
  24. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2009. "Structural changes in the US economy: Is there a role for monetary policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 477-490, February.
  25. Pivetta, Frederic & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "The persistence of inflation in the United States," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1326-1358, April.
  26. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2003. "On the indeterminacy of determinacy and indeterminacy," Working Paper Series 0277, European Central Bank.
  27. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2006. "Bayesian analysis of DSGE models," Working Papers 06-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  28. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
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