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Inflation and Relative Price Variability in a Low Inflation Country: Empirical Evidence for Germany


  • Dieter Nautz
  • Juliane Scharff


The recent literature on the welfare cost of inflation emphasizes inflation's effect on the variability of relative prices. Expected and unexpected inflation have both been proposed to increase relative price variability (RPV) and, thereby, to distort the information content of nominal prices. This paper presents new evidence on the impact of inflation on RPV in Germany. Our results indicate that the influence of expected inflation disappears if a credible monetary policy stabilizes inflationary expectations on a low level. Yet the significant impact of unexpected inflation suggests that even low inflation rates can lead to welfare losses by raising RPV above its efficient level. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Dieter Nautz & Juliane Scharff, 2005. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability in a Low Inflation Country: Empirical Evidence for Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(4), pages 507-523, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:4:p:507-523

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Bernd Hayo & Boris Hofmann, 2003. "Monetary Policy Reaction Functions: ECB versus Bundesbank," Macroeconomics 0312007, EconWPA.
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    8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-193.
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    10. Grier, Kevin B. & Perry, Mark J., 1996. "Inflation, inflation uncertainty, and relative price dispersion: Evidence from bivariate GARCH-M models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 391-405, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juliane Scharff & Sven Schreiber, 2012. "Evidence on the effects of inflation on price dispersion under indexation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 291-311, August.
    2. David Fielding & Paul Mizen, 2008. "Evidence on the Functional Relationship between Relative Price Variability and Inflation with Implications for Monetary Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(300), pages 683-699, November.
    3. Muhammad Akmal, 2012. "The Relationship between Inflation and Relative Price Variability in Pakistan," SBP Working Paper Series 44, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department.
    4. Alexander Bick & Dieter Nautz, 2008. "Inflation Thresholds and Relative Price Variability: Evidence from U.S. Cities," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(3), pages 61-76, September.
    5. María Ángeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabús., 2008. "The Determinants of Relative Price Variability: Further Evidence from Argentina," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 45(132), pages 235-255.
    6. Dieter Nautz & Juliane Scharff, 2012. "Inflation and relative price variability in the euro area: evidence from a panel threshold model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 449-460, February.
    7. Ciżkowicz, Piotr & Rzońca, Andrzej, 2010. "Inflation and corporate investment in selected OECD countries in the years 1960-2005 – an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 29846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Monir Uddin Ahmed & Md. Moniruzzaman Muzib & Md. Mahedi Hasan, 2016. "Inflation, inflation uncertainty and relative price variability in Bangladesh," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(3), pages 389-427, December.
    9. Linzert, Tobias, 2005. "The Unemployment Inflation Trade-Off in the Euro Area," IZA Discussion Papers 1699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Muhammad Akmal, 2012. "The Relationship between Inflation and Relative Price Variability in Pakistan," Working Papers id:4734, eSocialSciences.
    11. Mª Ángeles Caraballo Pou & Carlos Dabús & Diego Caramuta, 2006. "A Non-linear "Inflation-Relative Prices Variability" Relationship: Evidence from Latin America," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2006/09, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    12. Warmedinger, Thomas & Vetlov, Igor, 2006. "The German block of the ESCB multi-country model," Working Paper Series 654, European Central Bank.
    13. M. Angeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabus & Carlos Usabiaga, 2006. "Relative prices and inflation: new evidence from different inflationary contexts," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(16), pages 1931-1944.

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