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On the Generality of the New Keynesian Phillips Curves

  • Maritta Paloviita

    (Bank of Finland)

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    The New Keynesian Phillips curve is widely used in macroeconomics and monetary policy analysis. It is explicitly based on micro-foundations, monopolistically competitive firms and sticky prices. In its original form the New Keynesian Phillips curve is purely forward-looking model of inflation dynamics in the closed economy context. It is based on time-contingent price setting, which can be derived using Taylor’s overlapping contracts model (Taylor 1980), Rotemberg’s model of quadratic costs of price adjustment (Rotemberg 1982) or the Calvo (1983) model with random price adjustment. The alternative New Keynesian Hybrid Phillips curve includes elements of both forward- and backward-looking prices setting (Galí and Gertler, 1999). In the hybrid model only some price setters behave optimally when adjusting prices while the rest use rules of thumb or indexation, which is based on recent history of aggregate prices. When the New Keynesian Phillips curve is extended into open economy framework, inflation dynamics become more complicated, as new channels arise due to exchange rate changes and the effects of foreign shocks. In this approach, not only domestic demand and supply, but also foreign economic conditions influence domestic inflation. Imported goods can be modelled as intermediate goods (McCallun and Nelson, 1999, 2000; Kara and Nelson, 2003; Allsopp, Kara and Nelson, 2006), or as final consumption goods (Galí and Monacelli, 2005). Also more complicated models have been investigated (Batini et al, 2005; Leith and Malley, 2007; Rumler, 2007). The exchange rate pass-through is assumed to be full when final consumption goods model is analysed, but incomplete when imported goods are treated as intermediate goods. In this study we examine the empirical relevance of the New Keynesian Phillips curve relationship. Using pooled data for the euro area since the late 1980s, we compare the empirical fit of alternative Phillips curve specifications. We investigate both purely forward-looking models and hybrid models, which include both forwardand backward-looking elements of expectations. In the open economy context, we make the assumption that all imports are intermediate goods. Possible persistence in expectations is taken into account by using direct proxies i.e. Consensus Economics survey data for inflation expectations. The empirical analysis provides the strongest support for the open economy New Keynesian hybrid model. The Wald test of coefficient restrictions suggests that compared with the purely forward-looking specification, euro area inflation dynamics are better captured by the hybrid Phillips curve. Moreover, the empirical performance of the hybrid specification is improved, if the model is extended into open economy context. Robustness analysis indicates that the same open economy hybrid model is appropriate for countries with low and with high output gap volatility. Moreover, the inflation process in the four biggest and in the rest of the countries can be modelled using the same model parameters. Inflation dynamics are a central issue in monetary policy analysis. When conducting monetary policy, the inflation process and the effects of foreign shocks (for example energy and food price shocks) on domestic inflation must be carefully analysed. It is also important to examine how persistent the effects of shocks on inflation are and how the exchange rate and inflation are related. Overall, monetary policy analysis must be based on structural models, which capture expectations dynamics and the open economy aspects of the inflation process accurately. Recently, due to sharply weakening conditions in the world economy and highly volatile commodity prices, maintaining a deep understanding of inflation dynamics in the open economy context has become even more important for central banks.

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    Article provided by Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department in its journal Ensayos Económicos.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 55 (July - September)
    Pages: 7-32

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    Handle: RePEc:bcr:ensayo:v:1:y:2009:i:55:p:7-32
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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
    3. Rumler, Fabio, 2005. "Estimates of the open economy New Keynesian Phillips curve for euro area countries," Working Paper Series 0496, European Central Bank.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2001. "Monetary Policy for an Open Economy: An Alternative Framework with Optimizing Agents and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 8175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Paloviita, Maritta, 2008. "Estimating open economy Phillips curves for the euro area with directly measured expectations," Research Discussion Papers 16/2008, Bank of Finland.
    6. Adam, Klaus, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 267-301, March.
    7. Campbell Leith & Jim Malley, 2003. "Estimated Open Economy New Keynesian Phillips Curves for the G7," CESifo Working Paper Series 834, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Research Discussion Papers 29/2002, Bank of Finland.
    9. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information: A Model of Monetary Nonneutrality and Structural Slumps," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1941, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Klaus Adam & Mario Padula, 2011. "Inflation Dynamics And Subjective Expectations In The United States," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 13-25, 01.
    11. McCallum, B.T. & Nelson, E., 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Papers 644, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    12. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 199822, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    13. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
    14. Maritta Paloviita, 2006. "Inflation Dynamics in the Euro Area and the Role of Expectations," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 847-860, November.
    15. Maritta Paloviita, 2008. "Comparing alternative Phillips curve specifications: European results with survey-based expectations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(17), pages 2259-2270.
    16. Batini, Nicoletta & Jackson, Brian & Nickell, Stephen, 2005. "An open-economy new Keynesian Phillips curve for the U.K," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1061-1071, September.
    17. Christopher D Carroll, 2001. "The Epidemiology of Macroeconomic Expectations," Economics Working Paper Archive 462, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    18. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
    19. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    20. Mavroeidis, Sophocles, 2005. "Identification Issues in Forward-Looking Models Estimated by GMM, with an Application to the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 421-48, June.
    21. Christopher Allsopp & Amit Kara & Edward Nelson, 2006. "United Kingdom Inflation Targeting and the Exchange Rate," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(512), pages F232-F244, 06.
    22. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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