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The expectations trap hypothesis

  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Christopher J. Gust

This article explores a hypothesis about the take-off in inflation in the early 1970s. According to the expectations trap hypothesis, the Fed was driven to high money growth by a fear of violating the expectations of high inflation that existed at the time. The authors argue that this hypothesis is more compelling than the Phillips curve hypothesis, according to which the Fed produced the high inflation as an unfortunate by product of a conscious decision to jump start a weak economy.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): Q II ()
Pages: 21-39

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2000:i:qii:p:21-39:n:v.25no.2
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  1. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  3. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. John H. Cochrane, 1999. "A Frictionless View of U.S. Inflation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 323-421 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2001. "The Unreliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-57, CIRANO.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 1999. "Taylor Rules in a Limited Participation Model," NBER Working Papers 7017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Speech 81, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, September.
  9. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?," NBER Working Papers 7940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2000. "Understanding the fiscal theory of the price level," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 2-38.
  11. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Modeling Money," NBER Working Papers 6371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  14. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  15. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
  16. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, September.
  17. Martin Feldstein, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Going from Low Inflation to Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 5469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. William Kerr & Robert G. King, 1996. "Limits on interest rate rules in the IS model," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 47-75.
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