IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedrwp/01-02.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The case for price stability

Author

Listed:
  • Marvin Goodfriend
  • Robert G. King

Abstract

Reasoning within the New Neoclassical Synthesis (NNS) we previously recommended that price stability should be the primary objective of monetary policy. We called this a neutral policy because it keeps output at its potential, defined as the outcome of an imperfectly competitive real business cycle model with a constant markup of price over marginal cost. We explore the foundations of neutral policy more fully in this paper. Using the principles of public finance, we derive conditions under which markup constancy is optimal monetary policy. ; Price stability as the primary policy objective has been criticized on a number of grounds which we evaluate in this paper. We show that observed inflation persistence in U.S. time series is consistent with the absence of structural inflation stickiness as is the case in the benchmark NNS economy. We consider reasons why monetary policy might depart from markup constancy and price stability, but we argue that optimal departures are likely to be minor. Finally, we argue that the presence of nominal wage stickiness in labor markets does not undermine the case for neutral policy and price stability.

Suggested Citation

  • Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The case for price stability," Working Paper 01-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:01-02
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/working_papers/2001/wp_01-2.cfm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.richmondfed.org/publications/research/working_papers/2001/pdf/wp01-2.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690.
    2. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    3. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
    4. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    5. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
    6. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
    7. Kimball, Miles S, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1241-1277, November.
    8. Bernardino Adão & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2003. "Gaps and Triangles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 699-713.
    9. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-1088, October.
    11. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
    12. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    13. 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.
    14. Robert G. King, 2000. "The new IS-LM model : language, logic, and limits," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 45-103.
    15. Taylor, John B., 2000. "Low inflation, pass-through, and the pricing power of firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1389-1408, June.
    16. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-855, December.
    17. Stockman, Alan C & Hernandez D, Alejandro, 1988. "Exchange Controls, Capital Controls, and International Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 362-374, June.
    18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    19. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
    20. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-984, November.
    21. repec:fth:harver:1470 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1997. "A framework for the analysis of moderate inflations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 45-65, June.
    23. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, July.
    24. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Rosen, Sherwin, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 1144-1175, September.
    26. Woodford Michael, 2002. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-53, February.
    27. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1645-1660, December.
    28. Hall, Robert E., 1999. "Labor-market frictions and employment fluctuations," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 1137-1170 Elsevier.
    29. Lacker, Jeffrey M. & Schreft, Stacey L., 1996. "Money and credit as means of payment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 3-23, August.
    30. Dotsey, Michael & Ireland, Peter, 1996. "The welfare cost of inflation in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-47, February.
    31. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    32. Jovanic, Boyan & Ueda, Masako, 1997. "Contracts and Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 700-708, August.
    33. Zhu, Xiaodong, 1995. "Endogenous capital utilization, investor's effort, and optimal fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 655-677, December.
    34. Barro, Robert J., 1977. "Long-term contracting, sticky prices, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 305-316, July.
    35. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
    36. 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.
    37. Willem H. Buiter & Marcus H. Miller, 1983. "Costs and Benefits of an Anti-Inflationary Policy: Questions and Issues," NBER Working Papers 1252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Ireland, Peter N, 1996. "The Role of Countercyclical Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 704-723, August.
    39. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
    40. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    41. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Prices ; Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance) ; Business cycles ; Fiscal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:01-02. 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: (Christian Pascasio). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbrius.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.