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Price-Level Dispersion versus Inflation-Rate Dispersion: Evidence from Three Countries

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  • David Fielding
  • Christopher Hajzler
  • James (Jim) C. MacGee

Abstract

Inflation can affect both the dispersion of commodity-specific price levels across locations (relative price variability, RPV) and the dispersion of inflation rates (relative inflation variability, RIV). Some menu-cost models and models of consumer search suggest that the RIV-inflation relationship could differ from the RPV-inflation relationship. However, most empirical studies examine only RIV, finding that RIV is high when inflation is high. We examine city-level retail price data from Japan, Canada and Nigeria, and find that the impact of inflation on RIV differs from its effect on RPV. In particular, positive inflation shocks reduce RPV but raise RIV.

Suggested Citation

  • David Fielding & Christopher Hajzler & James (Jim) C. MacGee, 2017. "Price-Level Dispersion versus Inflation-Rate Dispersion: Evidence from Three Countries," Staff Working Papers 17-3, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:17-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Heinrichs, Katrin & Wagner, Helmut, 2019. "Positive trend inflation and the Phillips curve – A tale of two slopes and various impulse responses," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 283-307.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation and prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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