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Relative Prices as Aggregate Supply Shocks with Trend Inflation

  • David Demery
  • Nigel W. Duck

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    This paper modifies the menu-cost model that Ball and Mankiw (1995) put forward to explain the correlation between the first- and higher-moments of the distribution of US price changes by allowing for non-zero trend inflation. Simulations suggest that even if trend inflation is only mildly positive - such as the 3 percent per annum experienced by the US in the last 50 years - the predictions of the Ball and Mankiw model are greatly altered. We then show that some of these predictions are rejected by annual post-WW2 US data.

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    File URL: http://www.efm.bris.ac.uk/economics/working_papers/pdffiles/dp05570.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series Bristol Economics Discussion Papers with number 05/570.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:05/570
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    1. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1999. "Inflation And The Distribution Of Price Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 188-196, May.
    2. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
    3. Alan S. Blinder, 1994. "On Sticky Prices: Academic Theories Meet the Real World," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 117-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. A. Azzalini & A. Capitanio, 1999. "Statistical applications of the multivariate skew normal distribution," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 61(3), pages 579-602.
    5. Hamilton, James D., 1990. "Analysis of time series subject to changes in regime," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 39-70.
    6. Domberger, Simon, 1987. "Relative Price Variability and Inflation: A Disaggregated Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 547-66, June.
    7. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
    8. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1999. "Interpreting the Correlation Between Inflation and the Skewness of Relative Prices: A Comment on Bryan and Cecchetti," Scholarly Articles 3415439, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Nathan S. Balke & Mark A. Wynne, 1996. "Supply shocks and the distribution of price changes," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 10-18.
    10. Fischer, Stanley, 1982. "Relative price variability and inflation in the United States and Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 171-196.
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