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How does slack influence inflation?

Author

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  • Anna Cororaton
  • Richard Peach
  • Robert W. Rich

Abstract

Economists have long studied the relationship between resource utilization and inflation. Theory suggests that when firms use labor and capital very intensively, production costs tend to rise and firms have more scope to pass those cost increases along in the form of higher product prices. In contrast, when that level of intensity is relatively low?that is, when the economy is operating with slack?production costs tend to rise more slowly (or even fall) and firms have less scope for raising prices. Empirical evidence, however, has varied concerning the exact nature of the relationship between resource utilization and inflation. In this study, the authors reexamine this relationship by evaluating the presence of ?threshold effects.? They find that the level of intensity of resource utilization must be below or above certain critical values before it can help to forecast movements in inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Cororaton & Richard Peach & Robert W. Rich, 2011. "How does slack influence inflation?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 17(June).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednci:y:2011:i:june:n:v.17no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michelle L. Barnes & Giovanni P. Olivei, 2003. "Inside and outside bounds: threshold estimates of the Phillips curve," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 3-18.
    2. Zheng Liu & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2010. "Inflation: mind the gap," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jan19.
    3. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 25(Win), pages 2-11.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Fröhling, Annette & Lommatzsch, Kirsten, 2011. "Output sensitivity of inflation in the euro area: Indirect evidence from disaggregated consumer prices," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,25, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Jun Il Kim, 2014. "Comments on James Morley's paper," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Globalisation, inflation and monetary policy in Asia and the Pacific, volume 77, pages 51-54, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Guilloux-Nefussi, Sophie, 2020. "Globalization, market structure and inflation dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    5. Renaud St-Cyr, 2018. "Non-linéarité de la courbe de Phillips : un survol de la littérature," Staff Analytical Notes 2018-3, Bank of Canada.
    6. Lars Osberg, 2011. "Why Did Unemployment Disappear from Official Macro-Economic Policy Discourse in Canada?," New Directions for Intelligent Government in Canada: Papers in Honour of Ian Stewart, in: Fred Gorbet & Andrew Sharpe (ed.),New Directions for Intelligent Government in Canada: Papers in Honour of Ian Stewart, pages 127-162, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    7. Peter Hooper & Frederic S. Mishkin & Amir Sufi, 2019. "Prospects for Inflation in a High Pressure Economy: Is the Phillips Curve Dead or is It Just Hibernating?," NBER Working Papers 25792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hooper, Peter & Mishkin, Frederic S. & Sufi, Amir, 2020. "Prospects for inflation in a high pressure economy: Is the Phillips curve dead or is it just hibernating?," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 26-62.
    9. Liu, Yuelin & Morley, James, 2014. "Structural evolution of the postwar U.S. economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 50-68.
    10. Richard Ashley & Randal Verbrugge, 2019. "Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode," Working Papers 19-09R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 08 Apr 2020.
    11. Kapur, Muneesh, 2013. "Revisiting the Phillips curve for India and inflation forecasting," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 17-27.
    12. Albuquerque, Bruno & Baumann, Ursel, 2017. "Will US inflation awake from the dead? The role of slack and non-linearities in the Phillips curve," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 247-271.
    13. Kanellopoulos, Nikolaos C. & Koutroulis, Aristotelis G., 2016. "Non-linearities in euro area inflation persistence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 116-123.
    14. Marlene Amstad & Simon M. Potter & Robert W. Rich, 2014. "The FRBNY staff underlying inflation gauge: UIG," Staff Reports 672, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    15. J.W. Nevile & Peter Kriesler & Geoff Harcourt, 2011. "Exchange Rate Management in an Era of Global Financial Crises with special reference to Australia," Discussion Papers 2012-05, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    16. Lars Osberg, 2018. "Full Employment in Canada in the early 21st Century," Working Papers daleconwp2018-02, Dalhousie University, Department of Economics.

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