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Is increased price flexibility stabilizing? Redux

  • Saroj Bhattarai
  • Gauti B. Eggertsson
  • Raphael Schoenle

We study the implications of increased price flexibility on aggregate output volatility in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. First, using a simplified version of the model, we show analytically that the results depend on the shocks driving the economy and the systematic response of monetary policy to inflation: More flexible prices amplify the effect of demand shocks on output if interest rates do not respond strongly to inflation, while higher flexibility amplifies the effect of supply shocks on output if interest rates are very responsive to inflation. Next, we estimate a medium-scale DSGE model using post-WWII U.S. data and Bayesian methods and, conditional on the estimates of structural parameters and shocks, ask: Would the U.S. economy have been more or less stable had prices been more flexible than historically? Our main finding is that increased price flexibility would have been destabilizing for output and employment.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 540.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:540
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  1. De Long, James Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1031-44, December.
  2. Gregory de Walque & Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2006. "Price Shocks in General Equilibrium: Alternative Specifications," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 153-176, March.
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  4. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
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  8. Igor Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens & Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé, . "Evolutionary Stable Stock Markets," IEW - Working Papers 170, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Consumption And Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns Are Time Varying," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 433-495, May.
  11. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tobin, James, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 195-202, May.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:3:p:863-904 is not listed on IDEAS
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