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Inertial inflation, indexation and price stickiness: evidence from Brazil

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  • Durevall, Dick

Abstract

This paper evaluates the inertial inflation hypothesis for Brazil during the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. According to this hypothesis, (wage) indexation created a feedback mechanism such that one-time supply shocks were fully transmitted into permanent increases in inflation. First a simple theoretical model is used to show that the hypothesis is based on the assumption of perfect price flexibility. When price stickiness is introduced, indexation does not produce inertial inflation. Then, to investigate the impact of indexation on inflation, the degree of inertia (persistence) is compared between two periods, one with widespread indexation (1969-1985) and an earlier one without indexation (1945-1963). Unit root tests and the variance ratio test are used. The variance ratio test is also applied to inflation in the U.S. for the period (1969-1985) and France for (1983-1993), a period when there was no wage indexation. Finally, vector-autoregressive representations are estimated for the period 1972-1985. They differ from earlier work in that price tickiness is allowed for. The empirical results do not support the inertial inflation hypothesis; inertia does not seem to have been unusually high during the period of indexation, and impulse response analysis indicates that inflation shocks had only short-run effects on the level of inflation.
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  • Durevall, Dick, 1999. "Inertial inflation, indexation and price stickiness: evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 407-421, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:60:y:1999:i:2:p:407-421
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    1. Cardoso, Eliana A., 1983. "Indexação e acomodação monetária: um teste do processo inflacionário brasileiro," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 37(1), January.
    2. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-113, May.
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    4. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 857-880.
    5. Persio Arida & André Lara Resende, 1985. "Inertial inflation and monetary reform in Brazil," Textos para discussão 85, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    6. Cardoso, Eliana A & Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1987. "Brazil's Tropical Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 288-292, May.
    7. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    8. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Stanley Fischer, 1989. "Lectures on Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262022834, January.
    9. Novaes, Ana Dolores, 1993. "Revisiting the inertial inflation hypothesis for Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 89-110.
    10. Jorge Marshall & Felipe Morandé, 1989. "Una Interpretación Keynesiana- Inercialista de la Inflación Brasileña en los Años Ochenta," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 26(79), pages 353-366.
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    Cited by:

    1. Levy, Horacio & Nogueira, José Ricardo & Siqueira, Rozane Bezerra & Immervoll, Herwig & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2010. "Simulating the impact of inflation on the progressivity of personal income tax in Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 64(4), December.
    2. Machado, Vicente da Gama & Portugal, Marcelo Savino, 2014. "Measuring inflation persistence in Brazil using a multivariate model," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 68(2), June.
    3. André Roncaglia de Carvalho, 2013. "Inflation, structural change and conflict in post-disinflation Brazil: a structuralist appraisal," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_25, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    4. Campêlo, Ana Katarina & Cribari-Neto, Francisco, 2003. "Inflation Inertia and Inliers: The Case of Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 57(4), October.
    5. Oya Celasun & R. Gaston Gelos & Alessandro Prati, 2004. "Would "Cold Turkey" Work in Turkey?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 493-509, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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