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The nominal facts and the October 1979 policy change

  • William T. Gavin
  • Finn E. Kydland

Gavin and Kydland (1999) calculated the cyclical properties of money and prices for the periods before and after the October 1979 policy change. In this article, we extend that work by adding four more years of data and including a study of nominal interest rates and inflation. The adoption of a disinflation policy in October 1979 does not appear to have had a measurable impact on the cyclical properties of real variables. However, it made a dramatic difference in the cyclical properties of nominal variables. We also examine the covariance structure of several nominal relationships: the autocovariance of inflation, the lag from money growth to inflation, and lag from money growth to nominal GDP growth. Generally, the monetary policy in the early period allowed the average inflation rate to ratchet upward with each business cycle. This policy was associated with high variances, high autocorrelations, and high cross-correlations among nominal variables. The moderate inflation policy followed in the second period was associated with lower mean growth rates, less volatility, and lower cross-correlations between money growth and inflation.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): Nov ()
Pages: 39-61

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2000:i:nov:p:39-61:n:v.82no.6
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