IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The macroeconomics of trend inflation

  • Guido Ascari
  • Argia M. Sbordone

Most macroeconomic models for monetary policy analysis are approximated around a zero-inflation steady state, but most central banks target inflation at a rate of about 2 percent. Many economists have recently proposed even higher inflation targets to reduce the incidence of the zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on monetary policy. In this survey, we show the importance of appropriately accounting for a low, positive trend inflation rate for the conduct of monetary policy. We first review empirical research on the evolution and dynamics of U.S. trend inflation, as well as some proposed new measures to assess the volatility and persistence of trend-based inflation gaps. Then we construct a generalized New Keynesian model that accounts for a positive trend inflation rate. We find that, in this model, higher trend inflation is associated with a more volatile and unstable economy and tends to destabilize inflation expectations. This analysis offers a note of caution in evaluating recent proposals to address the existing ZLB situation by raising the underlying rate of inflation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr628.html
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/staff_reports/sr628.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 628.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:628
Contact details of provider: Postal: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045-0001
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Peter N. Ireland, 2006. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 12492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2004. "The real effects of money growth in dynamic general equilibrium," Working Paper Series 0412, European Central Bank.
  3. Levin, Andrew T. & David López-Salido, J. & Nelson, Edward & Yun, Tack, 2008. "Macroeconometric equivalence, microeconomic dissonance, and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S48-S62, October.
  4. Roberto M. Billi, 2007. "Optimal inflation for the U.S," Research Working Paper RWP 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  5. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  6. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Laurence M. Ball, 2013. "The Case for Four Percent Inflation," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(2), pages 17-31.
  8. McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 870-904, November.
  9. Andrea Vaona, 2010. "Inflation and Growth in the Long Run: A New Keynesian Theory and Further Semiparametric Evidence," Working Papers 09/2010, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  10. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The Case for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy under low trend inflation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 647, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Monetary policy with uncertain parameters," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 308, Stockholm School of Economics.
  13. Teruyoshi Kobayashi & Ichiro Muto, 2011. "A note on expectational stability under non-zero trend inflation," Discussion Papers 1102, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
  14. Elena, Gerko & Kirill, Sossounov, 2011. "Trend inflation and Monetary policy rules: Determinacy analyses in New Keynesian model with capital accumulation," MPRA Paper 30551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Charles L. Evans, 2012. "Monetary Policy in a Low‐Inflation Environment: Developing a State‐Contingent Price‐Level Target," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 147-155, 02.
  16. Tatiana Damjanovic & Charles Nolan, 2010. "Relative Price Distortions and Inflation Persistence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 1080-1099, 09.
  17. Guido Ascari, 2004. "Staggered Prices and Trend Inflation: Some Nuisances," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 642-667, July.
  18. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Michelle L. Barnes & Fabià Gumbau-Brisa & Denny Lie & Giovanni P. Olivei, 2009. "Closed-form estimates of the New Keynesian Phillips curve with time-varying trend inflation," Working Papers 09-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  20. Daniel Leigh, 2010. "Monetary Policy and the Lost Decade: Lessons from Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(5), pages 833-857, 08.
  21. Christopher J. Erceg and Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect Credibility and Inflation Persistence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  22. Guido Ascari & Efrem Castelnuovo & Lorenza Rossi, 2010. "Calvo vs. Rotemberg in a Trend Inflation World: An Empirical Investigation," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0116, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  23. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2008. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 14621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Robert Amano & Steve Ambler & Nooman Rebei, 2006. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Non-Zero Trend Inflation," Working Papers 06-34, Bank of Canada.
  25. John C. Williams, 2009. "Heeding Daedalus: Optimal inflation and the zero lower bound," Working Paper Series 2009-23, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  26. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2004. "Optimal monetary policy under commitment with a zero bound on nominal interest rates," Working Paper Series 0377, European Central Bank.
  27. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2009. "Trend inflation, Taylor principle and indeterminacy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 708, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  28. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  29. Bakhshi, Hasan & Khan, Hashmat & Rudolf, Barbara, 2006. "The Phillips Curve Under State-Dependent Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 5945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  31. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  32. Steve Ambler, 2009. "Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 21-31.
  33. Andreas Hornstein & Alexander L. Wolman, 2005. "Trend inflation, firm-specific capital, and sticky prices," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 57-83.
  34. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  35. Michael T. Kiley, 2004. "Is moderate-to-high inflation inherently unstable?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-43, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  36. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2008. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Phillips Curve," IZA Discussion Papers 3477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  37. Argia M. Sbordone, 2007. "Inflation persistence: alternative interpretations and policy implications," Staff Reports 286, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  38. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Olivier J. Blanchard & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/03, International Monetary Fund.
  39. Etienne Gagnon, 2009. "Price Setting During Low and High Inflation: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1221-1263, August.
  40. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  41. Fernando Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2010. "Optimal Price Setting with Observation and Menu Costs," EIEF Working Papers Series 1010, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2010.
  42. James Costain & Antón Nákov, 2008. "Price adjustments in a general model of state-dependent pricing," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0824, Banco de Espa�a.
  43. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  44. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  45. Ellison, Martin & Pearlman, Joseph, 2011. "Saddlepath learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1500-1519, July.
  46. Levin, Andrew & Yun, Tack, 2007. "Reconsidering the natural rate hypothesis in a New Keynesian framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1344-1365, July.
  47. Bakhshi, Hasan & Khan, Hashmat & Burriel-Llombart, Pablo & Rudolf, Barbara, 2007. "The New Keynesian Phillips curve under trend inflation and strategic complementarity," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 37-59, March.
  48. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  49. Nistico, Salvatore, 2007. "The welfare loss from unstable inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 51-57, July.
  50. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," NBER Working Papers 10195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
  52. Ascari, Guido & Merkl, Christian, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," IZA Discussion Papers 3049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  53. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Costain, James & Nakov, Anton, 2011. "Distributional dynamics under smoothly state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 646-665.
  55. Takushi Kurozumi & Willem Van Zandweghe, . "Kinked Demand Curves, the Natural Rate Hypothesis, and Macroeconomic Stability," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
  56. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2010. "The Taylor Principle in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper 2010/09, Norges Bank.
  57. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  58. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  59. Kleibergen, Frank & Mavroeidis, Sophocles, 2009. "Weak Instrument Robust Tests in GMM and the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(3), pages 293-311.
  60. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  61. Alexander L. Wolman, 1998. "Staggered price setting and the zero bound on nominal interest rates," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 1-24.
  62. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 01-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  63. Benati, Luca, 2009. "Are 'intrinsic inflation persistence' models structural in the sense of Lucas (1976)?," Working Paper Series 1038, European Central Bank.
  64. Timothy Cogley & Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone, 2011. "Optimal disinflation under learning," Staff Reports 524, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  65. Guido Ascari & Lorenza Rossi, 2012. "Trend Inflation and Firms Price‐Setting: Rotemberg Versus Calvo," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1115-1141, 09.
  66. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E.A., 2007. "Natural rate doubts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 797-825, March.
  67. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2013. "Hyperbolic Discounting And Positive Optimal Inflation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 591-620, April.
  68. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  69. Cogley, Timothy & Matthes, Christian & Sbordone, Argia M., 2014. "Optimized Taylor Rules for Disinflation When Agents are Learning," Working Paper 14-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  70. Vaona, Andrea & Snower, Dennis, 2008. "Increasing returns to scale and the long-run Phillips curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 83-86, July.
  71. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  72. Andrew Levin & Günter Coenen, 2005. "Identifying the Influences of Nominal and Real Rigidities in Aggregate Price-Setting Behavior," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 66, Society for Computational Economics.
  73. Ascari, Guido, 2000. "Optimising Agents, Staggered Wages and Persistence in the Real Effects of Money Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 664-86, July.
  74. Hess Chung & Jean‐Philippe Laforte & David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2012. "Have We Underestimated the Likelihood and Severity of Zero Lower Bound Events?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 47-82, 02.
  75. Takushi Kurozumi & Willem Van Zandweghe, 2012. "Firm-specific labor, trend inflation, and equilibrium stability," Research Working Paper RWP 12-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  76. Guido Ascari & Anna Florio, 2012. "Transparency, Expectations Anchoring and the Inflation Target," DEM Working Papers Series 022, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.
  77. Alves, Sergio Afonso Lago, 2014. "Lack of divine coincidence in New Keynesian models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 33-46.
  78. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland & Olivier Coibion, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," 2012 Meeting Papers 70, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  79. Reifschneider, David & Willams, John C, 2000. "Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 936-66, November.
  80. Bodenstein, Martin & Erceg, Christopher & Guerrieri, Luca, 2010. "The Effects of Foreign Shocks When Interest Rates Are at Zero," CEPR Discussion Papers 8006, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  81. Allan Crawford & Césaire A. Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2009. "Price-Level Uncertainty, Price-Level Targeting, and Nominal Debt Contracts," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 33-43.
  82. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  83. 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.
  84. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  85. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  86. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  87. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
  88. Sergio A. Lago Alves, 2012. "Optimal Policy When the Inflation Target is not Optimal," Working Papers Series 271, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  89. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  90. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2010. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models," Working Papers 91, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  91. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  92. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  93. OECD & Nuclear Energy Agency, 2011. "Case law," Nuclear Law Bulletin, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 87-91.
  94. Lawrence Summers, 1991. "Panel discussion: price stability ; How should long-term monetary policy be determined?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 625-631.
  95. Lars E.O. Svensson & Noah Williams, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy under uncertainty: a Markov jump-linear-quadratic approach," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 275-294.
  96. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
  97. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  98. David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 1999. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low inflation era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  99. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  100. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  101. OECD & Nuclear Energy Agency, 2011. "Case law," Nuclear Law Bulletin, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(2), pages 65-74.
  102. Sims, Christopher A, 2000. "Comment on Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 967-72, November.
  103. Amano, Robert & Moran, Kevin & Murchison, Stephen & Rennison, Andrew, 2009. "Trend inflation, wage and price rigidities, and productivity growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 353-364, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:628. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Farber)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.