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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
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  1. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: some theory and empirics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Argia M. Sbordone, 2006. "U.S. Wage and Price Dynamics: A Limited-Information Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
  5. 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.
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  9. 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.
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  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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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  16. 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.
  17. Sbordone, Argia M., 2005. "Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1183-1197, September.
  18. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2000. "Inflation and Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 247-274, March.
  19. Timothy Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A search for a structural Phillips curve," Staff Reports 203, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  20. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
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