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Moderate inflation and the deflation-depression link

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  • Jess Benhabib
  • Mark M. Spiegel

Abstract

In a recent paper, Atkeson and Kehoe (2004) demonstrated the lack of a robust empirical relationship between inflation and growth for a cross-section of countries with 19th and 20th century data, concluding that the historical evidence only provides weak support for the contention that deflation episodes are harmful to economic growth. In this paper, we revisit this relationship by allowing for inflation and growth to have a nonlinear specification dependent on inflation levels. In particular, we allow for the possibility that high inflation is negatively correlated with growth, while a positive relationship exists over the range of negative-to-moderate inflation. Our results confirm a positive relationship between inflation and growth at moderate inflation levels, and support the contention that the relationship between inflation and growth is non-linear over the entire sample range.

Suggested Citation

  • Jess Benhabib & Mark M. Spiegel, 2006. "Moderate inflation and the deflation-depression link," Working Paper Series 2006-32, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2006-32
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2004. "Deflation and Depression: Is There an Empirical Link?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 99-103, May.
    2. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
    3. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1998. "Money, inflation, and output under fiat and commodity standards," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 11-17.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Bull, Clive, 1983. "The Optimal Quantity of Money: A Formal Treatment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 101-111, February.
    5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 198-230, February.
    6. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1996. "Optimality of the Friedman rule in economies with distorting taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 203-223, April.
    7. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1998. "Zero nominal interest rates: why they're good and how to get them," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-10.
    8. Atish Ghosh & Steven Phillips, 1998. "Warning: Inflation May Be Harmful to Your Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 672-710, December.
    9. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1998. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, February.
    10. Judson, Ruth & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "Inflation, Volatility and Growth," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 117-138, April.
    11. Alan J. Auerbach & Maurice Obstfeld, 2005. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 110-137, March.
    12. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2000. "Paths of development for early- and late-bloomers in a dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin model," Staff Report 256, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    13. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Murase, Koichi, 2013. "Asymmetric effects of the exchange rate on domestic corporate goods prices," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25, pages 80-89.
    2. WenShwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller & ChunShen Lee, 2009. "Short- and Long-Run Differences in the Treatment Effects of Inflation Targeting on Developed and Developing Countries," Working papers 2009-14, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2010.
    3. Bill Dorval & Gregor W. Smith, 2015. "Interwar Inflation, Unexpected Inflation, and Output Growth," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(8), pages 1599-1615, December.
    4. Sorin-Constantin Deaconu, 2012. "“The Net Monetary Statement” and “The Net Non-Monetary Statement” – Assessment Indicators for The Financial Position of The Entity," Annals of the University of Petrosani, Economics, University of Petrosani, Romania, vol. 12(3), pages 49-56.
    5. repec:rjr:romjef:v::y:2017:i:4:p:134-151 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Venky Venkateswaran & Randall Wright, 2014. "Pledgability and Liquidity: A New Monetarist Model of Financial and Macroeconomic Activity," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 227-270.
    7. Hsiu-Yun Lee & Yu-Lin Wang & Wen-Ya Chang, 2013. "Can growth-enhanced monetary policy improve welfare when people seek social status?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 257-272, November.
    8. Stephen M. Miller & WenShwo Fang & Ozkan Eren, 2012. "Inflation Targeting: Does It Improve Economic Performance?," Working Papers 1207, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Inflation (Finance);

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