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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.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 6 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 507-523

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:4:p:507-523
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  1. Simonsen, Mario Henrique & Cysne, Rubens Penha, 2001. "Welfare Costs of Inflation and Interest-Bearing Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(1), pages 90-100, February.
  2. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  3. Balke, Nathan S. & Wynne, Mark A., 2000. "An equilibrium analysis of relative price changes and aggregate inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 269-292, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Sheshinski, Eytan & Weiss, Yoram, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303, June.
  6. Fielding, David & Mizen, Paul, 2000. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation in Europe," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(265), pages 57-78, February.
  7. Bernd Hayo & Boris Hofmann, 2003. "Monetary Policy Reaction Functions: ECB versus Bundesbank," Macroeconomics 0312007, EconWPA.
  8. Anindya BANERJEE & Paul MIZEN & Bill RUSSELL, 2002. "The Long-Run Relationship among Relative Price Variability, Inflation and the Markup," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/01, European University Institute.
  9. David Parsley Helen Popper, 2002. "Inflation And Price Dispersion In Equity Markets And In Goods And Services Markets," Macroeconomics 0211004, EconWPA.
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