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Can rational expectations sticky-price models explain inflation dynamics?

  • Jeremy Rudd
  • Karl Whelan

The canonical inflation specification in sticky-price rational expectations models (the new-Keynesian Phillips curve) is often criticized on the grounds that it fails to account for the dependence of inflation on its own lags. In response, many recent studies have employed a "hybrid" sticky-price specification in which inflation depends on a weighted average of lagged and expected future values of itself, in addition to a driving variable such as the output gap. In this paper, we consider some simple tests of the hybrid model that are derived from the model's closed-form solution. Our results suggest that the hybrid model provides a poor description of empirical inflation dynamics, and that there is little evidence of the type of rational forward-looking behavior implied by the model.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2003-46.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-46
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1986. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 785, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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  5. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "The [un]importance of forward-looking behavior in price specifications," Working Papers 95-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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  7. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2002. "Does the Labour Share of Income Drive Inflation?," Research Technical Papers 2/RT/02, Central Bank of Ireland.
  8. Guerrieri, Luca, 2006. "The Inflation Persistence of Staggered Contracts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(2), pages 483-494, March.
  9. 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.
  10. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  19. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
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