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Understanding the price puzzle

Author

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  • Nathan S. Balke
  • Kenneth M. Emery

Abstract

Recent developments in measuring the stance of monetary policy have highlighted an interesting puzzle--namely, that an unexpected tightening in monetary policy leads to an increase rather than a decrease in the price level. In this article, Nathan Balke and Kenneth Emery present evidence on the price puzzle and discuss possible explanations for it. ; Balke and Emery find that the most plausible explanation is that, during the 1960s and '70s, monetary policy was not implemented in a way that fully offset inflationary supply shocks. During this period, monetary policy would tighten in response to a supply shock but not by enough to prevent inflation from rising. In the data, therefore, contractionary policy is positively correlated with inflation. Since the early 1980s, however, the price puzzle has disappeared for either one, or both, of two reasons: the Federal Reserve has placed greater emphasis on achieving price stability, or there have been fewer inflationary supply shocks to the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan S. Balke & Kenneth M. Emery, 1994. "Understanding the price puzzle," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 15-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1994:i:qiv:p:15-26
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1994/er9404b.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-442, October.
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    6. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-921, September.
    7. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "'Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts: The effects of monetary policy' : by Christopher Sims," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1001-1011, June.
    8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "A reconsideration of Sims' evidence concerning monetarism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 167-171.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eugenio Gaiotti & Alessandro Secchi, 2004. "Is there a cost channel of monetary policy transmission? An investigation into the pricing behaviour of 2,000 firms," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 525, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2004. "Measuring the effects of monetary policy: a factor-augmented vector autoregressive (FAVAR) approach," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Armour, J. & Engert, W. & Fung, B.S.C., 1996. "Overnight Rate Innovations as a measure of monetary Policy Shocks in Vector Autoregressions," Staff Working Papers 96-4, Bank of Canada.
    4. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:54:y:2009:i:01:n:s0217590809003173 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kenneth M. Emery & Chih-Ping Chang, 1997. "Is there a stable relationship between capacity utilization and inflation?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 14-20.
    6. Chauvet, Marcelle & Tierney, Heather L. R., 2007. "Real Time Changes in Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 16199, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2009.
    7. Hanson, Michael S., 2004. "The "price puzzle" reconsidered," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1385-1413, October.
    8. Mohsin S. Khan & Axel Schimmelpfennig, 2006. "Inflation in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 185-202.
    9. Navoda Edirisinghe & Selliah Sivarajasingham & John Nigel, 2015. "An Empirical Study of the Fisher Effect and the Dynamic Relationship between Inflation and Interest Rate in Sri Lanka," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 5(1), pages 47-62, January.
    10. Claudia M. Buch & Joerg Doepke & Christian Pierdzioch, 2004. "Business Cycle Volatility in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(4), pages 451-479, November.
    11. King Fuei Lee, 2009. "An Empirical Study Of The Fisher Effect And The Dynamic Relation Between Nominal Interest Rate And Inflation In Singapore," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 54(01), pages 75-88.
    12. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "What are the lags in monetary policy?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb3.
    13. Choi, Jae-Young & Ratti, Ronald A., 2000. "The Predictive Power of Alternative Indicators of Monetary Policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 581-610, October.

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