IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/manchs/v71y2003i5p541-565.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The inflation bias revisited: theory and some international evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Cukierman
  • Stefan Gerlach

Abstract

The Kydland–Prescott, Barro–Gordon inflation bias result hinges on policymakers aiming at employment above potential. This has been questioned by academics and policymakers on the ground of realism. We show that even if policymakers target the normal level of employment, a bias arises if they are uncertain about economic conditions and are more sensitive to employment below than above normal. This view implies a positive association between inflation and the variance of output shocks. Cross‐sectional empirical evidence from OECD economies supports this implication. We also discuss the consequences for the transparency of monetary policy and for central bank reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Cukierman & Stefan Gerlach, 2003. "The inflation bias revisited: theory and some international evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(5), pages 541-565, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:71:y:2003:i:5:p:541-565
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9957.00366
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9957.00366
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/1467-9957.00366?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Alex Cukierman, 2002. "Are contemporary central banks transparent about economic models and objectives and what difference does it make?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 84(Jul), pages 15-36.
    3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482, Elsevier.
    4. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-211, May.
    5. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
    6. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
    7. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    8. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 2019. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 52(4), pages 505-525.
    9. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1.
    10. Gerlach, Stefan, 2003. "Recession aversion, output and the Kydland-Prescott Barro-Gordon model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 389-394, December.
    11. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    12. Richard H. Clarida & Mark Gertler, 1997. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 363-412, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981.
    14. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Alex Cukierman & Anton Muscatelli, 2001. "Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability?," Working Papers 2002_4, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Mar 2002.
    16. Dolado, Juan J. & María-Dolores, Ramón & Naveira Barrero, Manuel, 2000. "Asymmetries In Monetary Policy Rules: Evidence For Four Central Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 2441, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2004. "The inflation bias when the central bank targets the natural rate of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-107, February.
    18. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    19. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-455, November.
    20. Alex Cukierman & V. Anton Muscatelli, 2002. "Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability? - Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 764, CESifo.
    21. Gerlach, Stefan, 1999. "Who targets inflation explicitly?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1257-1277, June.
    22. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    23. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608.
    24. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    25. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alex Cukierman, 2002. "Are contemporary central banks transparent about economic models and objectives and what difference does it make?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 84(Jul), pages 15-36.
    2. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J, 2003. "Inflation Targeting under Asymmetric Preferences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 763-785, October.
    3. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 928-956, September.
    4. Alex Cukierman & Anton Muscatelli, 2001. "Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability?," Working Papers 2002_4, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Mar 2002.
    5. D'Amato, Marcello & Martina, Riccardo, 2005. "Credibility and commitment of monetary policy in open economies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 872-902, December.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
    7. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1998. "International Experiences With Different Monetary Policy Regimes," Seminar Papers 648, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    8. Berthold Herrendorf & Manfred J.M. Neumann, 2003. "The Political Economy of Inflation, Labour Market Distortions and Central Bank Independence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 43-64, January.
    9. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2004. "The inflation bias when the central bank targets the natural rate of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-107, February.
    10. Clark, Peter B. & Goodhart, Charles A. E. & Huang, Haizhou, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy rules in a rational expectations model of the Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 497-520, April.
    11. Paolo Surico, 2002. "Inflation Targeting and Nonlinear Policy Rules: the Case of Asymmetric Preferences," Macroeconomics 0210002, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Feb 2004.
    12. Anton Muscatelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules, Policy Preferences, and Uncertainty: Recent Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 597-627, December.
    13. Shawn Chen‐Yu Leu & Jeffrey Sheen, 2006. "Asymmetric Monetary Policy in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 85-96, September.
    14. Singleton,John, 2010. "Central Banking in the Twentieth Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899093.
    15. Martin, Fernando M., 2015. "Debt, inflation and central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 129-150.
    16. Volker Wieland, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
    17. Richard Mash, 2000. "The Time Inconsistency of Monetary Policy with Inflation Persistence," Economics Series Working Papers 15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Yvan Lengwiler & Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Optimal Discretion," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 261-276, June.
    19. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
    20. Akhand Akhtar Hossain, 2009. "Central Banking and Monetary Policy in the Asia-Pacific," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12777.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:71:y:2003:i:5:p:541-565. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/semanuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/semanuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.