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The inflation-output variability tradeoff and price-level targets

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Dittmar
  • William T. Gavin
  • Finn E. Kydland

Abstract

In this article, the authors describe a popular monetary policy framework based on a neoclassical Phillips Curve model. Here, the choice between an inflation target and a price-level target depends on characteristics of real output. If the output gap is relatively persistent, then targeting the price level results in a better set of policy options for the central bank. The authors present evidence from the G-10 countries showing that conventionally measured output gaps are highly persistent. The policy implication of assuming rational expectations and this Phillips Curve model is that central banks should set objectives for a price level, not an inflation rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn E. Kydland, 1999. "The inflation-output variability tradeoff and price-level targets," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 23-32.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:1999:i:jan:p:23-32:n:1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
    3. John B. Taylor, 1994. "The inflation/output variability trade-off revisited," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 21-24.
    4. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mervyn A. King, 1999. "Challenges for monetary policy : new and old," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-57.
    2. Hatcher, Michael C., 2008. "Speed Limit Policies versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2008/20, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    3. Mishkin, Frederic S., 2017. "Rethinking monetary policy after the crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(PB), pages 252-274.
    4. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2002. "Monetary Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates: An Introduction to Inflation Targeting," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.),Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 3, pages 079-170, Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
    6. Kevin Dowd, 2004. "Too Good to be True? The (In)credibility of the UK Inflation Fan Charts," Occasional Papers 11, Industrial Economics Division, revised 11 Jan 2004.
    7. Frederic S. Mishkin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2001. "One decade of inflation targeting in the world : What do we know and what do we need to know?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 101, Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Sofat, Prakriti, 2010. "Can a real business cycle model without price and wage stickiness explain UK real exchange rate behaviour?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1131-1150, October.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:5:y:2005:i:12:p:1-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Takatoshi Ito & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Two Decades of Japanese Monetary Policy and the Deflation Problem," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, pages 131-202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. David Meenagh & Patrick Minford & Eric Nowell & Prakriti Sofat & Naveen Srinivasan, 2007. "Are the facts of UK inflation persistence to be explained by nominal rigidity or changes in monetary regime?," WEF Working Papers 0028, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
    12. Dowd, Kevin, 2007. "Too good to be true? The (In)credibility of the UK inflation fan charts," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 91-102, March.
    13. Bali, Turan G. & Thurston, Thom B., 2002. "On the efficiency of monetary policy rules with flexible prices and rational expectations," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 615-631.
    14. Osama Sweidan & Fadwa Kalaji, 2005. "The central bank cost constraint and output-inflation variability: a note on Cecchetti and Ehrmann 2000," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(12), pages 1-6.
    15. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Sofat, Prakriti & Srinivasan, Naveen, 2009. "Can the facts of UK inflation persistence be explained by nominal rigidity?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 978-992, September.
    16. Giannoni, Marc P., 2014. "Optimal interest-rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 110-129.
    17. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2011. "Monetary Policy Strategy: Lessons from the Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. William T. Gavin, 2003. "Inflation targeting: why it works and how to make it work better," Working Papers 2003-027, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    19. Patrick Minford & Prakriti Sofat, 2004. "An Open Economy Real Business Cycle Model for the UK," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 23, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    20. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Monetary Policy Strategy: How Did We Get Here?," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 53(4), pages 359-388, December.
    21. Daniela Milučká, 2014. "Inflation dynamics in the Czech Republic: Estimation of the New Keynesian Phillips curve," International Journal of Economic Sciences, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2014(2), pages 53-70.
    22. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin, 2000. "What do New-Keynesian Phillips Curves imply for price-level targeting?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 82(Mar), pages 21-30.
    23. Malik, Hamza, 2005. "Price Level vs. Nominal Income Targeting: Aggregate Demand Shocks and the Cost Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," MPRA Paper 456, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2006.
    24. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Kim, 2004. "Inflation Targeting, Price-Path Targeting, and Output Variability," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 173-200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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