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Inflation and real disequilibria


  • Mark S Astley
  • Tony Yates


This paper outlines some problems with the methods often used to construct measures of real 'disequilibria' or 'gaps' (eg the output gap) and to examine their relationship with inflation. It then offers a structural vector autoregression alternative which is used to construct estimates of output, unemployment and capacity utilisation gaps. Gap estimates are constructed by summing the effects of particular structural shocks, where the shocks are identified using long-run restrictions derived from theory. The approach has four main advantages over other methods. First, it uses economics rather than statistics to construct the gaps. Second, the estimates are not contingent upon particular assumptions about the structure of the economy. Third, it does not impose a rigid causal chain running from gaps to inflation. Fourth, it permits the simultaneous construction of several gap measures and the examination of their relationship with inflation in a single framework, so that the three gap measures are internally consistent and can be used to make inferences about the structure of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark S Astley & Tony Yates, 1999. "Inflation and real disequilibria," Bank of England working papers 103, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:103

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    Cited by:

    1. Jens Larsen & Katharine Neiss & Fergal Shortall, 2007. "Factor Utilization and Adjusted Productivity Estimates for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 245-269, April.
    2. Jennifer V Greenslade & Richard G Pierse & Jumana Saleheen, 2003. "A Kalman filter approach to estimating the UK NAIRU," Bank of England working papers 179, Bank of England.
    3. Tor Jacobson & Per Jansson & Anders Vredin & Anders Warne, 2001. "Monetary policy analysis and inflation targeting in a small open economy: a VAR approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 487-520.
    4. Huh, Hyeon-seung & Jang, Inwon, 2007. "Nonlinear Phillips curve, sacrifice ratio, and the natural rate of unemployment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 797-813, September.
    5. Pablo Burriel-Llombart & Jonathan Thomas, 2001. "Skill imbalances in the UK labour market: 1979-99," Bank of England working papers 145, Bank of England.
    6. Jan Gottschalk & Willem Van Zandweghe, 2003. "Do Bivariate SVAR Models with Long-Run Identifying Restrictions Yield Reliable Results? An Investigation into the Case of Germany," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(I), pages 55-81, March.
    7. Vincenzo Cassino & Michael Joyce, 2003. "Forecasting inflation using labour market indicators," Bank of England working papers 195, Bank of England.
    8. Rebecca L Driver & Jennifer V Greenslade & Richard G Pierse, 2003. "The role of expectations in estimates of the NAIRU in the United States and the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 180, Bank of England.
    9. Nicoletta Batini & Jennifer V. Greenslade, 2006. "Measuring the UK short-run NAIRU," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 28-49, January.

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