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Inflation and Relative Price Variability: New Evidence for the United States


  • Sascha S. Becker

    () (Department of Economics, Freie Universitat Berlin, Boltzmannstr. 20, D-14195, Berlin, Germany)

  • Dieter Nautz

    () (Department of Economics, Freie Universitat Berlin, Boltzmannstr. 20, D-14195, Berlin, Germany)


This article provides new evidence on the empirical relationship between inflation and relative prices in the United States. In line with the predictions of recent monetary search models, we find that the impact of expected inflation on relative price variability (RPV) has disappeared during the recent period when inflation expectations have been stabilized on a low level. Endogenous break-point tests are applied to identify the timing and to confirm the significance of the changing role of inflation for RPV. The empirical findings are robust with respect to different price indices, disaggregation levels, and measurement concepts.

Suggested Citation

  • Sascha S. Becker & Dieter Nautz, 2009. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability: New Evidence for the United States," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 146-164, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:76:1:y:2009:p:146-164

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    5. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
    6. Martin Feldstein, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-320.
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    Cited by:

    1. Baglan, Deniz & Ege Yazgan, M. & Yilmazkuday, Hakan, 2016. "Relative price variability and inflation: New evidence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 263-282.
    2. Becker, Sascha S. & Nautz, Dieter, 2012. "Inflation, price dispersion and market integration through the lens of a monetary search model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 624-634.
    3. Dr. Gulnihal Aksoy & Prof. Dr. Don Bredin & Deirdre Corcoran & Stilianos Fountas, 2017. "Relative Price Dispersion and Inflation: Evidence for the UK and the US," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 50(1), pages 3-24.
    4. Young Se Kim & Byeongdeuk Jang, 2015. "Dispersion of Inflation Expectations: Stylized Facts, Puzzles, and Macroeconomic Implications," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 31, pages 89-119.
    5. Juliane Scharff & Sven Schreiber, 2012. "Evidence on the effects of inflation on price dispersion under indexation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 291-311, August.
    6. repec:rej:journl:v:19:y:2016:i:61:p:193-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. David Fielding & Christopher Hajzler & James MacGee, 2017. "Price-Level Dispersion versus Inflation-Rate Dispersion: Evidence from Three Countries," Staff Working Papers 17-3, Bank of Canada.
    8. Sascha S. Becker, 2011. "What Drives the Relationship Between Inflation and Price Dispersion? Market Power vs. Price Rigidity," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-019, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    9. Nebiye Yamak & Sinem Kocak & Fatma Kolcu, 2016. "Causal Relationship Between Relative Price Variability and Inflation in Turkey:Evidence from Panel Data," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 19(60), pages 183-198, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes


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