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Did the Great Inflation occur despite policymaker commitment to a Taylor rule?

  • James Bullard
  • Stefano Eusepi

The authors study the hypothesis that misperceptions of trend productivity growth during the onset of the productivity slowdown in the United States caused much of the great inflation of the 1970s. They use the general equilibrium, sticky price framework of Woodford (2002), augmented with learning using the techniques of Evans and Honkapohja (2001). The authors allow for endogenous investment as well as explicit, exogenous growth in productivity and the labor input. They assume the monetary policymaker is committed to using a Taylor-type policy rule. The authors study how this economy reacts to an unexpected change in the trend productivity growth rate under learning. They find that a substantial portion of the observed increase in inflation during the 1970s can be attributed to this source.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2003-20.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-20
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  2. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2003. "Expectation traps and monetary policy," Staff Report 319, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
  9. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2002. "Flation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 1-6.
    • William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. Eric Schaling, James Bullard, 2001. "New economy : new policy rules?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 53, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Bai, Jushan & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1998. "Testing for and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432, July.
  12. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  13. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Christopher J. Erceg and Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect Credibility and Inflation Persistence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," NBER Working Papers 12606, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrea Tambalotti, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy and productivity growth," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2003 99, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  17. Honkapohja, Seppo & Evans, George W., 2000. "Expectations and the stability problem for optimal monetary policies," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  18. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  19. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Speech 81, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  20. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2000. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Working Paper Series 0015, European Central Bank.
  21. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 2004. "Evaluating the Calvo Model of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 10617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  24. Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "The New Econometrics of Structural Change: Dating Breaks in U.S. Labour Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 117-128, Fall.
  25. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2004. "Monetary Policy and Stagflation in the UK," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 293-318, June.
  26. Cho, In-Koo & Sargent, Thomas J., 2000. "Escaping Nash inflation," Working Paper Series 0023, European Central Bank.
  27. James B. Bullard & John Duffy, 2004. "Learning and structural change in macroeconomic data," Working Papers 2004-016, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  28. John B. Taylor, 1998. "Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 6754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, July.
  30. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary policy rules and the Great Inflation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  31. Christopher J. Erceg, 1997. "Nominal wage rigidities and the propagation of monetary disturbances," International Finance Discussion Papers 590, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  32. Miguel Casares & Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "An Optimizing IS-LM Framework with Endogenous Investment," NBER Working Papers 7908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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