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No Pain, No Gain? The Simple Analytics of Efficient Disinflation in Open Economies

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  • Buiter, Willem H.
  • Grafe, Clemens

Abstract

The Paper studies the design of efficient disinflation programmes in open economies using the sacrifice ratio; that is, the cumulative additional un-employment or cumulative lost output required to achieve a 1% sustained reduction in the rate of inflation, as the metric of efficiency. The ’new Keynesian’ Phillips curve first proposed by Calvo has a zero sacrifice ratio: costless disinflation is possible, because the inflation process is purely forward-looking. There is inertia or rigidity in the price level but not in the rate of inflation. More interesting inflation kernels for which current inflation is partly forward-looking and partly backward-looking have a positive sacrifice ratio. Real exchange rate appreciation early in the disinflation process may raise the sacrifice ratio relative to a policy that keeps the real exchange rate constant. The sacrifice ratio is lower under gradualism than under ’cold turkey’. Effficient disinflation policies may, however, be time-inconsistent and therefore not credible.

Suggested Citation

  • Buiter, Willem H. & Grafe, Clemens, 2001. "No Pain, No Gain? The Simple Analytics of Efficient Disinflation in Open Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 3038, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurence Ball, 1994. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 155-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
    4. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    5. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 45-61, May.
    6. Gregory, R G, 1986. "Wages Policy and Unemployment in Australia," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210(S)), pages 53-74, Supplemen.
    7. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
    8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer, 1988. "The New Keynsesian Economics and the Output-Inflation Trade-off," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 1-82.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. António Duarte, 2009. "The Portuguese Disinflation Process: Analysis of Some Costs and Benefits," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 16(1), pages 157-173, May.
    2. Oya Celasun & R. Gaston Gelos & Alessandro Prati, 2004. "Obstacles to disinflation: what is the role of fiscal expectations?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(40), pages 441-481, October.
    3. Oya Celasun & R. Gaston Gelos & Alessandro Prati, 2004. "Would "Cold Turkey" Work in Turkey?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 493-509, November.
    4. Tödter, Karl-Heinz, 2002. "Monetary indicators and policy rules in the P-star model," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2002,18, Deutsche Bundesbank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disinflation; new Keynesian Phillips curve; sacrifice ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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