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Nominal rigidities, skewness and inflation regimes

  • Caraballo Pou, M. Angeles
  • Dabus, Carlos

The menu-costs model developed by Ball and Mankiw (BM) [Ball, L., Mankiw, N.G., 1994. Asymmetric price adjustment and economic fluctuations. Economic Journal 104 (423), 247-261; Ball, L., Mankiw, N.G., 1995. Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate supply shocks. Quarterly Journal of Economics 110 (1), 161-193] predicts that inflation is positively related to the skewness of price changes distribution. We test this prediction in different inflationary contexts: Spain (1975-2002) and Argentina (1960-1989). We find a positive inflation-skewness relationship in both countries at low inflation, even though the mean annual inflation rates were very different: 2.2% for Spain and 23% for Argentina. Therefore, the threshold of low inflation under which the menu-costs model is suitable is determined endogenously, and it depends on the inflationary experience of each economy. In the higher inflation periods skewness is not significant. Finally, our results suggest that the menu-costs model is not suitable beyond certain threshold of inflation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Economics.

Volume (Year): 62 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 16-33

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:62:y:2008:i:1:p:16-33
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941

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  1. Ghysels, Eric, 1990. "Unit-Root Tests and the Statistical Pitfalls of Seasonal Adjustment: The Case of U.S. Postwar Real Gross National Product," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(2), pages 145-52, April.
  2. Jörg Döpke & Christian Pierdzioch, 2003. "Inflation and the Skewness of the Distribution of Relative Price Changes - Empirical Evidence for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(2), pages 136-158.
  3. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Simon Hall & Anthony Yates, 1998. "Are there downward nominal rigidities in product markets?," Bank of England working papers 80, Bank of England.
  5. Donald W.K. Andrews & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only Under the Alternative," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1015, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1993. "Relative-price changes as aggregate supply shocks," Working Papers 93-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Ball, L. & Mankiw, N.G., 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1602, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Ghysels, Eric & Perron, Pierre, 1993. "The effect of seasonal adjustment filters on tests for a unit root," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 57-98.
  9. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
  10. Carlos Usabiaga. & María Ãngeles Caraballo & Carlos Dabús, 2004. "Relative Prices and Inflation: New Evidence from Different Inflationary Contexts," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 338, Econometric Society.
  11. Robert A. Amano & R. Tiff Macklem, 1997. "Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada," Working Papers 97-14, Bank of Canada.
  12. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
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