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The inflationary bias of real uncertainty and the harmonic Fisher equation

Listed author(s):
  • Ioannis Karatzas


  • Martin Shubik


  • William Sudderth


  • John Geanakoplos


We argue that real uncertainty itself causes long-run nominal inflation. Consider an infinite horizon cash-in-advance economy with a representative agent and real uncertainty, modeled by independent, identically distributed endowments. Suppose the central bank fixes the nominal rate of interest. We show that the equilibrium long-run rate of inflation is strictly higher, on almost every path of endowment realizations, than it would be if the endowments were constant. Indeed, we present an explicit formula for the long-run rate of inflation, based on the famous Fisher equation. The Fisher equation says the short-run rate of inflation should equal the nominal rate of interest less the real rate of interest. The long-run Fisher equation for our stochastic economy is similar, but with the rate of inflation replaced by the harmonic mean of the growth rate of money. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2006

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Article provided by Springer & Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 28 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 481-512

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:28:y:2006:i:3:p:481-512
DOI: 10.1007/s00199-005-0648-z
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