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Understanding the price puzzle

  • Nathan S. Balke
  • Kenneth M. Emery

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.

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File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1994/er9404b.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (1994)
Issue (Month): Q IV ()
Pages: 15-26

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1994:i:qiv:p:15-26
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1994. "Identification and the effects of monetary policy shocks," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h07k8vf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-42, October.
  5. Cooley, Thomas F. & Leroy, Stephen F., 1985. "Atheoretical macroeconometrics: A critique," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 283-308, November.
  6. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 454, October.
  8. Robert D. Laurent, 1988. "An interest rate-based indicator of monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 3-14.
  9. 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.
  10. Sims, Christopher A., 1992. "Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts : The effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 975-1000, June.
  11. 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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