IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/applec/v32y2000i12p1521-1532.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Capacity utilization rates and unemployment rates: are they complements or substitutes in warning about future inflation?

Author

Listed:
  • Willie Belton
  • Richard Cebula

Abstract

This research examines capacity utilization as a measure of economic slack in the US economy. Many macroeconomists have questioned the use of capacity utilization as a measure of economics slack on several fronts. The first issue revolves around the definition and accuracy of measurement of the capacity utilization rate in the US economy. Since this research uses existing Federal Reserve measures of capacity utilization, no insights into the definition and measurement issues are offered other than the fact that a consistent role was found for two different Fed measures of capacity utilization in explaining inflation. The second issue effectively involves the concern as to robustness of the link between the capacity utilization rate and inflation. There is indeed reason for the Federal Reserve to take note of changes in capacity utilization when trying to determine its policy position with regard to inflation. Clearly, the high capacity measure developed in this research offers distinct information about the inflation process. The third issue raises the question as to whether the capacity utilization and unemployment rates are complements or substitutes in the inflation equation. Both rates tend to provide similar information regarding price changes at low levels of aggregate resource usage. However, as resource usage in the economy becomes increasingly close to its maximum potential, the labour market impact on inflation, as capture by unemployment rate measures, is distinctly different from that of capacity constraints. Finally, if the capacity utilization rate is indeed a useful measure of inflationary pressure, is there a threshold level of the capacity utilization rate above which policymakers should become particularly concerned about the potential of accelerating inflation? Across two measures of inflation, the widely discussed capacity threshold level is in the 84-85% range.

Suggested Citation

  • Willie Belton & Richard Cebula, 2000. "Capacity utilization rates and unemployment rates: are they complements or substitutes in warning about future inflation?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(12), pages 1521-1532.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:12:p:1521-1532
    DOI: 10.1080/000368400418934
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/000368400418934
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Martha Misas A & Enrique López E, 2001. "Desequilibrios Reales En Colombia," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 19(40), pages 5-45, December.
    2. Kalyuzhnova, Yelena & Vagliasindi, Maria, 2006. "Capacity utilization of the Kazakhstani firms and the Russian financial crisis: A panel data analysis," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 231-248, October.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:32:y:2000:i:12:p:1521-1532. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.