Escaping Nash and volatile inflation
Why is inflation so much lower and at the same time more stable in developed economies in the 1990s, compared with the 1970s? This paper suggests that the United Kingdom, United States and other countries may have escaped from a volatile inflation equilibrium. Our argument builds on the story proposed by Tom Sargent in The conquest of American inflation, where the fall in inflation in the 1980s was attributed to the changing beliefs informing monetary policy. To explain the escape in inflation volatility, we unwind one of Sargent’s simplifications and allow the monetary authority to react to some of the shocks in the economy. In this new model, a revised account of recent history is that when the evidence turned against the existence of a long-run inflation-output trade-off in the 1980s there was an escape from high inflation, but the authorities were also persuaded to stop using changes in inflation to offset shocks. Inflation and inflation volatility therefore escaped in tandem. Our analysis also sheds some light on why the escape in inflation occurred at the time it did. Our model, like the Sargent model it derives from, omits the revolution in institutional design and understanding that underpins monetary policy. So the gloomy predictions for the future derived from a literal reading of it are likely to be unfounded.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH|
Phone: +44 (0)171 601 4030
Fax: +44 (0)171 601 5196
Web page: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003.
"Inflation forecast uncertainty,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
- Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 384, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 06 Nov 2001.
- Söderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
- Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2007. "Benefits from U.S. Monetary Policy Experimentation in the Days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 67-99, 02.
- Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Benefits from U.S. monetary policy experimentation in the days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Reis Ricardo, 2003. "Where Is the Natural Rate? Rational Policy Mistakes and Persistent Deviations of Inflation from Target," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, September.
- Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
- Sargent, Thomas J. & Cogley, Timothy, 2005. "The conquest of U.S. inflation: learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 478, European Central Bank.
- El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1993. "Bayesian economists ... Bayesian agents : An alternative approach to optimal learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 355-383, May.
- In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
- Cho, In-Koo & Sargent, Thomas J., 2000. "Escaping Nash inflation," Working Paper Series 0023, European Central Bank.
- Bruce McGough, 2006. "Shocking Escapes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 507-528, 04.
- Bruce McGough, 2003. "Shocking Escapes," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 294, Society for Computational Economics.
- Phelps, Edmund S & Taylor, John B, 1977. "Stabilizing Powers of Monetary Policy under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 163-190, February.
- William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2002. "Flation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 1-6.
- Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
- Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
- Orphanides, Athanasios, 2000. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Working Paper Series 0015, European Central Bank.
- Gerali, Andrea & Lippi, Francesco, 2001. "On the 'Conquest' of Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.