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Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?

  • Peter N. Ireland


    (Boston College)

This paper derives the restrictions imposed by Barro and Gordon's theory of time-consistent monetary policy on a bivariate time-series model for inflation and unemployment and tests those restrictions using quarterly US data from 1960 through 1997. The results show that the data are consistent with the theory's implications for the long-run behavior of the two variables, indicating that the theory can explain inflation's initial rise and subsequent fall over the past four decades. The results also suggest that the theory must be extended to account more fully for the short-run dynamics that appear in the data.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 415.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 09 Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:415
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  1. Peter C.B. Phillips & Pierre Perron, 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 795R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 1987.
  2. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Broadbent, Ben & Barro, Robert J., 1997. "Central bank preferences and macroeconomic equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-43, June.
  4. Perron, P. & Ng, S., 1994. "Useful Modifications to Some Unit Root Tests with Dependent Errors and Their Local Asymptotic Properties," Cahiers de recherche 9427, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
  6. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
  7. Phillips, Peter C B & Ouliaris, S, 1990. "Asymptotic Properties of Residual Based Tests for Cointegration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 165-93, January.
  8. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "The post-war U.S. Phillips curve: a revisionist econometric history," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Blackburn, Keith & Christensen, Michael, 1989. "Monetary Policy and Policy Credibility: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-45, March.
  10. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, December.
  11. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  12. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  13. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  14. Baxter, Marianne, 1988. "Toward an empirical assessment of game-theoretic models of policymaking : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 141-151, January.
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