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The NIRCU and the Phillips curve: an approach based on micro data

  • Eva M. Köberl
  • Sarah M. Lein

In this paper we propose a straightforward method to derive a non-inflationary rate of capacity utilization (NIRCU) based on micro data. We condition the current capacity utilization of firms on their current and planned price adjustments. The non-inflationary capacity utilization rate is then defined as the rate where a firm feels no price adjustment pressure. One of the main advantages is that this methodology uses structural aspects and does not make it necessary to operate with - often rather arbitrary - statistical filters. We show that our aggregate NIRCU performs remarkably well as an indicator of inflationary pressure in a Phillips curve estimation.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 673-694

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:2:p:673-694
Contact details of provider: Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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  1. Sarah M. Rupprecht, 2007. "When Do Firms Adjust Prices? Evidence from Micro Panel Data," KOF Working papers 07-160, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
  3. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  4. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "Rethinking the Role of NAIRU in Monetary Policy: Implications of Model Formulation and Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 405-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Camarero, Mariam & Carrion-i-Silvestre, Josep Lluis & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2005. "Unemployment dynamics and NAIRU estimates for accession countries: A univariate approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 584-603, September.
  6. Nicoletta Batini & Jennifer V. Greenslade, 2006. "Measuring the UK short-run NAIRU," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 28-49, January.
  7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2002. "The NAIRU in Theory and Practice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1963, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  10. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
  11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thomas B. King & James Morley, 2005. "In search of the natural rate of unemployment," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2005-05, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  13. Jordi Gali, 2002. "New Perspectives on Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 8767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  16. Niek Nahuis, 2003. "An alternative demand indicator: the 'non-accelerating inflation rate of capacity utilization'," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1339-1344.
  17. Carol Corrado & Joe Mattey, 1997. "Capacity Utilization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-167, Winter.
  18. Katharine Neiss & Edward Nelson, 2002. "Inflation dynamics, marginal cost, and the output gap: evidence from three countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  19. Basistha, Arabinda & Nelson, Charles R., 2007. "New measures of the output gap based on the forward-looking new Keynesian Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 498-511, March.
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