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Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Entry and Product Variety

  • Bilbiie, Florin Ovidiu
  • Fujiwara, Ippei
  • Ghironi, Fabio

We show that deviations from long-run stability of product prices are optimal in the presence of endogenous producer entry and product variety in a sticky-price model with monopolistic competition in which price stability would be optimal in the absence of entry. Specifically, a long-run positive (negative) rate of inflation is optimal when the benefit of variety to consumers falls short of (exceeds) the market incentives for creating that variety under flexible prices, governed by the desired markup. Plausible preference specifications and parameter values justify a long-run inflation rate of two percent or higher. Price indexation implies even larger deviations from long-run price stability. However, price stability (around this non-zero trend) is close to optimal in the short run, even in the presence of time-varying flexible-price markups that distort the allocation of resources across time and states. The central bank uses its leverage over real activity in the long run, but not in the short run. Our results point to the need for continued empirical research on the determinants of markups and investigation of the benefit of product variety to consumers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8565.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8565
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  1. Isabel Horta Correia & Juan Pablo Nicolini & Pedro Teles, 2003. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy: Equivalence Results," Working Papers w200303, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  2. Bilbiie, Florin O. & Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc J., 2012. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," Scholarly Articles 10914281, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2001. "Gaps and triangles," Working Paper Series WP-01-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Faia, Ester, 2012. "Oligopolistic competition and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1760-1774.
  5. Sanjay K. Chugh & Fabio Ghironi, 2012. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Endogenous Product Variety," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 845, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Faia, Ester, 2009. "Ramsey monetary policy with labor market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 570-581, May.
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  9. Roberto M. Billi, 2007. "Optimal inflation for the U.S," Research Working Paper RWP 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  10. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  11. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1991. "Monopolistic competition," Handbook of Mathematical Economics, in: W. Hildenbrand & H. Sonnenschein (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 37, pages 1997-2045 Elsevier.
  12. Michael Woodford & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," 2004 Meeting Papers 481, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Thomas, Carlos, 2008. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 936-956, July.
  14. Vivien Lewis, 2009. "Optimal monetary policy and firm entry," Working Paper Research 178, National Bank of Belgium.
  15. Kim, Jinill & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2007. "How Much Inflation is Necessary to Grease the Wheels?," Cahiers de recherche 2007-10, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  16. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
  17. Robert J. Gordon, 2006. "The Boskin Commission Report: A Retrospective One Decade Later," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 12, pages 7-22, Spring.
  18. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2007. "Monetary Policy and Business Cycles with Endogenous Entry and Product Variety," NBER Working Papers 13199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2008. "Monopoly Power and Endogenous Product Variety: Distortions and Remedies," NBER Working Papers 14383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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