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Inflation persistence: Alternative interpretations and policy implications

  • Sbordone, Argia M.

In this paper, I consider the policy implications of two alternative structural interpretations of observed inflation persistence, which correspond to two alternative specifications of the new Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC). The first specification allows for some degree of intrinsic persistence by way of a lagged inflation term in the NKPC. The second is a purely forward-looking model, in which expectations farther into the future matter and coefficients are time-varying. In this specification, most of the observed inflation persistence is attributed to fluctuations in the underlying inflation trend, which are a consequence of monetary policy rather than a structural feature of the economy. With a simple quantitative exercise, I illustrate the consequences of implementing monetary policy, assuming a degree of intrinsic persistence that differs from the true one. The results suggest that the costs of implementing a stabilization policy when the policymaker overestimates the degree of intrinsic persistence are potentially higher than the costs of ignoring actual structural persistence; the result is more clear-cut when the policymaker minimizes a welfare-based loss function.>

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
Pages: 1311-1339

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:54:y:2007:i:5:p:1311-1339
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Ascari, Guido, 2003. "Staggered prices and trend inflation : Some nuisances," Research Discussion Papers 27/2003, Bank of Finland.
  2. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  5. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & David Lopez-Salido, 2005. "Robustness of the Estimates of the Hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 11788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Woodford & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," 2004 Meeting Papers 481, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  8. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Model Uncertainty and Policy Evaluation: Some Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 10916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy under low trend inflation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 647, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  11. Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach," Staff Reports 256, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Tim W. Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Working Papers 510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  13. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0391, European Central Bank.
  14. Pivetta, Frederic & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "The persistence of inflation in the United States," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1326-1358, April.
  15. Sbordone, Argia M., 2005. "Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1183-1197, September.
  16. Filippo Altissimo & Laurent Bilke & Andrew Levin & Thomas Mathä & Benoit Mojon, 2006. "Sectoral and Aggregate Inflation Dynamics in the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 585-593, 04-05.
  17. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & López-Salido, J David, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2684, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Working Paper Series 2003-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  19. John C. Williams & Andrew T. Levin, 2003. "Robust Monetary Policy with Competing Reference Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 291, Society for Computational Economics.
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  21. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
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