Unemployment and Inflation Regimes
In this paper we study 2-state Markov switching VAR models of monthly unemployment and inflation for three countries: Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. The primary purpose is to examine if periods of low inflation are associated with high or low unemployment volatility. To interpret the regimes the empirical results are compared with the predictions from a version of Rogoff's (1985) model of monetary policy. Our version is consistent with equilibrium unemployment and has the realistic feature of allowing both variables to be persistent. We find that both the theoretical and the empirical results suggest that an increase in central bank "conservativeness" can be associated with either a higher or a lower variance in unemployment. In the U.S. case we find that the variance of unemployment is lower in the low inflation regime than in the high inflation regime, while the Swedish and the U.K. cases suggest that unemployment variability is higher in the low inflation regime.
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Volume (Year): 10 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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