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Inflation: Do Expectations Trump the Gap?

Author

Listed:
  • Jeremy M. Piger

    (University of Oregon)

  • Robert H. Rasche

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

Abstract

We measure the relative contribution of the deviation of real activity from its equilibrium (the gap), “supply-shock” variables, and long-horizon inflation forecasts for explaining the U.S. inflation rate in the post-war period. For alternative specifications for the inflation-driving process and measures of inflation and the gap, we reach a similar conclusion: the contribution of changes in long-horizon inflation forecasts dominates that for the gap and supply-shock variables. Put another way, variation in long-horizon inflation forecasts explains the bulk of the movement in realized inflation. Further, we find evidence that long-horizon forecasts have become substantially less volatile over the sample period, suggesting that permanent shocks to the inflation rate have moderated. Finally, we use our preferred specification for the inflation-driving process to compute a history of model-based forecasts of the inflation rate. For both short and long horizons, these forecasts are close to inflation expectations obtained from surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy M. Piger & Robert H. Rasche, 2008. "Inflation: Do Expectations Trump the Gap?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 85-116, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2008:q:4:a:3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orphanides, Athanasios & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The Reliability of Inflation Forecasts Based on Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 583-601, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paloviita, Maritta, 2008. "Dynamics of inflation expectations in the euro area," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland, number 40/2008, November.
    2. Kitov, Ivan, 2009. "The anti-Phillips curve," MPRA Paper 13641, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 202-213.
    4. Kevin L. Kliesen, 2010. "Inflation may be the next dragon to slay," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 4-9.
    5. Kevin Lansing, 2009. "Time Varying U.S. Inflation Dynamics and the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 304-326, April.
    6. Oleg KITOV & Ivan KITOV, 2012. "A Win-Win Monetary Policy In Canada," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 6(6(18)/ Su), pages 160-176.
    7. Alberto Musso & Livio Stracca & Dick van Dijk, 2009. "Instability and Nonlinearity in the Euro-Area Phillips Curve," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 181-212, June.
    8. John A. Tatom, 2017. "Globalization and Inflation: a Swiss Perspective," Open Economies Review, Springer, pages 523-545.
    9. Clark, Todd E. & Doh, Taeyoung, 2014. "Evaluating alternative models of trend inflation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 426-448.
    10. Todd E. Clark & Troy A. Davig, 2008. "An empirical assessment of the relationships among inflation and short- and long-term expectations," Research Working Paper RWP 08-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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