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. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
  2. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  3. Fernando E. Alvarez & Francesco Lippi & Luigi Paciello, 2011. "Optimal Price Setting With Observation and Menu Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1909-1960.
  4. 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.
  5. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 01-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Liam Graham & Dennis J. Snower, 2007. "Hyperbolic Discounting and the Phillips Curve," Kiel Working Papers 1346, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. 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.
  8. James Costain & Anton Nakov, 2011. "Price Adjustments in a General Model of State‐Dependent Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 385-406, 03.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2011. "Optimal Disinflation Under Learning," 2011 Meeting Papers 74, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2010. "The Taylor Principle in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper 2010/09, Norges Bank.
  14. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  15. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2013. "Hyperbolic Discounting And Positive Optimal Inflation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 591-620, April.
  16. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 145-166, Fall.
  17. Steve Ambler, 2009. "Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 21-31.
  18. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation:An Alternative Interpretation," Working Papers 94, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  19. Söderström, Ulf, 2000. "Monetary policy with uncertain parameters," Working Paper Series 0013, European Central Bank.
  20. 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.
  21. Blanchard, Olivier J & Galí, Jordi, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Olivier J. Blanchard & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/03, International Monetary Fund.
  23. 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.
  24. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Michael T. Kiley, 2007. "Is Moderate-to-High Inflation Inherently Unstable?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(2), pages 173-201, June.
  28. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
  29. Ascari, Guido & Merkl, Christian, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the Cost of Disinflations," IZA Discussion Papers 3049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  30. Tatiana Damjanovic & Charles Nolan, 2010. "Relative Price Distortions and Inflation Persistence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 1080-1099, 09.
  31. Robert Amano & Steve Ambler & Nooman Rebei, 2006. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Non-Zero Trend Inflation," Working Papers 06-34, Bank of Canada.
  32. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
  34. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. 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.
  36. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  37. John C. Williams, 2009. "Heeding Daedalus: Optimal Inflation and the Zero Lower Bound," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 1-49.
  38. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E.A., 2007. "Natural rate doubts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 797-825, March.
  39. 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.
  40. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2009. "Trend Inflation, Taylor Principle and Indeterminacy," Quaderni di Dipartimento 097, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
  41. 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.
  42. Hess Chung & Jean-Philippe Laforte & David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2011. "Have we underestimated the likelihood and severity of zero lower bound events?," Working Paper Series 2011-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  43. 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.
  44. Benati, Luca, 2009. "Are 'intrinsic inflation persistence' models structural in the sense of Lucas (1976)?," Working Paper Series 1038, European Central Bank.
  45. 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.
  46. Kobayashi, Teruyoshi & Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "A Note On Expectational Stability Under Nonzero Trend Inflation," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(03), pages 681-693, April.
  47. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
  48. 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.
  49. Alves, Sergio Afonso Lago, 2014. "Lack of divine coincidence in New Keynesian models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 33-46.
  50. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2013. "Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-574.
  51. David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
  52. 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.
  53. Andrea Vaona & Dennis Snower, 2006. "Increasing Returns to Scale and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Kiel Working Papers 1277, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  54. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The case for price stability," Working Paper 01-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  55. Andrew T. Levin & J. David López-Salido & Edward Nelson & Tack Yun, 2008. "Macroeconometric equivalence, microeconomic dissonance, and the design of monetary policy," Working Papers 2008-035, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  56. 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.
  57. Roberto M. Billi, 2007. "Optimal inflation for the U.S," Research Working Paper RWP 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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".
  61. 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.
  62. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  63. Martin Ellison & Joseph Pearlman, 2010. "Saddlepath Learning," Economics Series Working Papers 505, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  64. 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.
  65. Bakhshi, Hasan & Khan, Hashmat & Rudolf, Barbara, 2007. "The Phillips curve under state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2321-2345, November.
  66. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  67. Sbordone, Argia M., 2007. "Inflation persistence: Alternative interpretations and policy implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1311-1339, July.
  68. Guido Ascari, 2004. "Staggered prices and trend inflation: some nuisances," Macroeconomics 0404029, EconWPA.
  69. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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.
  73. 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.
  74. 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.
  75. Sergio A. Lago Alves, 2012. "Optimal Policy When the Inflation Target is not Optimal," Working Papers Series 271, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. 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.
  79. OECD & Nuclear Energy Agency, 2011. "Case law," Nuclear Law Bulletin, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 87-91.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. OECD & Nuclear Energy Agency, 2011. "Case law," Nuclear Law Bulletin, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(2), pages 65-74.
  83. 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.
  84. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  85. 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.
  86. Nistico, Salvatore, 2007. "The welfare loss from unstable inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 51-57, July.
  87. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  88. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2009. "The effects of foreign shocks when interest rates are at zero," International Finance Discussion Papers 983, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  89. Costain, James & Nakov, Anton, 2011. "Distributional dynamics under smoothly state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 646-665.
  90. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  91. 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.
  92. Lawrence Summers, 1991. "Panel discussion: price stability ; How should long-term monetary policy be determined?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 625-631.
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. Graham, Liam & Snower, Dennis J., 2004. "The real effects of money growth in dynamic general equilibrium," Working Paper Series 0412, European Central Bank.
  96. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  97. 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.
  98. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy under low trend inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2568-2583, November.
  99. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  100. 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.
  101. 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.
  102. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
  103. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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.