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Inflation persistence: Alternative interpretations and policy implications

Listed author(s):
  • 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. 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.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
  3. Ascari, Guido, 2002. "Staggered Price and Trend Inflation:Some Nuisances," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 10, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "Trend inflation and inflation persistence in the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Staff Reports 270, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  5. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  6. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  7. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & López-Salido, J David, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2684, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Research 61, National Bank of Belgium.
  9. 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.
  10. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  11. 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.
  12. Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach," Staff Reports 256, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Sbordone, Argia M., 2005. "Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1183-1197, September.
  14. Tim W. Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Working Papers 510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  16. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
  19. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & David Lopez-Salido, J., 2005. "Robustness of the estimates of the hybrid New Keynesian Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1107-1118, September.
  20. 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.
  21. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
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