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Why has inflation in the United States been so stable since the 1990s?

Author

Listed:
  • Del Negro, Marco
  • Lenza, Michele
  • Primiceri, Giorgio
  • Tambalotti, Andrea

Abstract

The analysis of inflation dynamics and their possible changes over time is a key input in the design of monetary policy, particularly in the context of the strategy reviews recently undertaken by the Federal Reserve System and currently under way at the European Central Bank and other central banks. In this article, we study the causes of the stability of US inflation over the business cycle since the 1990s. We conclude that it is mainly due to a reduced sensitivity of firms’ pricing decisions to their cost pressures. Ignoring this observation could impair the ability of monetary policy to steer inflation toward its objective. JEL Classification: E31, E32, E37, E52

Suggested Citation

  • Del Negro, Marco & Lenza, Michele & Primiceri, Giorgio & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2020. "Why has inflation in the United States been so stable since the 1990s?," Research Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 74.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbrbu:2020:0074:
    Note: 411196
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Argia M. Sbordone, 2007. "Globalization and Inflation Dynamics: The Impact of Increased Competition," NBER Chapters, in: International Dimensions of Monetary Policy, pages 547-579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael McLeay & Silvana Tenreyro, 2020. "Optimal Inflation and the Identification of the Phillips Curve," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 199-255.
    3. Marco Del Negro & Marc P. Giannoni & Frank Schorfheide, 2015. "Inflation in the Great Recession and New Keynesian Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 168-196, January.
    4. Kristin Forbes, 2019. "Inflation Dynamics: Dead, Dormant, or Determined Abroad?," NBER Working Papers 26496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Elena Bobeica & Marek Jarociński, 2019. "Missing Disinflation and Missing Inflation: A VAR Perspective," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 15(1), pages 199-232, March.
    6. Fabian Eser & Peter Karadi & Philip R. Lane & Laura Moretti & Chiara Osbat, 2020. "The Phillips Curve at the ECB," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 88(S1), pages 50-85, September.
    7. Simon Gilchrist & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Credit Spreads and Business Cycle Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1692-1720, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; unemployment; monetary policy trade-off;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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