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The Inflation Bias Revisited: Theory and Some International Evidence

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  • Cukierman, Alex
  • Gerlach, Stefan

Abstract

The Kydland-Prescott, Barro-Gordon inflation bias result relies on the presumption that policymakers aim at achieving a level of employment above potential. Both academics and policymakers have recently questioned this presumption on the ground of realism. We show that even if policymakers are content with the normal level of employment there is an inflation bias if the central bank is uncertain about the future state of the economy, and is more sensitive to policy misses leading to employment below the normal level than to policy misses leading to employment above it. This new view of the inflation bias implies that there should be a positive association between average inflation and the variance of shocks to output. Cross sectional empirical evidence from 21 developed economies supports this implication. The Paper also discusses the consequences for the transparency of monetary policy and for central bank reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Cukierman, Alex & Gerlach, Stefan, 2003. "The Inflation Bias Revisited: Theory and Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3761
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    barro-gordon; inflation bias; kydland-prescott;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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