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A Tale of Two Effects


  • Paul Evans

    () (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)

  • Xiaojun Wang

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)


This paper adopts a New Keynesian approach to analyze the relationship between nominal interest rates and prices. In this new framework, both a positive relation between interest rates and price levels (i.e., a positive Gibson effect) and a negative relation between interest rates and subsequent price changes (i.e., a negative Fama-Fisher effect) arise when money is supplied inelastically and prices are flexible. Such an economy is subject to Gibson’s Paradox, a long-standing puzzle in monetary economics, and a novel paradox identified here, a Fama-Fisher Paradox. By contrast, economies characterized by elastic money and sticky prices are not so paradoxical since nominal interest rates are positively related to subsequent inflation and ambiguously related to the price level. Empirical analysis of nearly two centuries of data for ten countries supports the new theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Evans & Xiaojun Wang, 2005. "A Tale of Two Effects," Working Papers 200506, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200506

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1973. "Interest Rates and Prices in the Long Run: A Study of the Gibson Paradox," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 385-449, Part II F.
    2. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-282, June.
    3. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    4. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
    5. Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr, 1984. "The Gibson Paradox: A Cross-Country Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(202), pages 109-127, May.
    6. Barsky, Robert B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Gibson's Paradox and the Gold Standard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 528-550, June.
    7. Roll, Richard, 1972. "Interest Rates on Monetary Assets and Commodity Price Index Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 251-277, May.
    8. Robert B. Barsky & J. Bradford De Long, 1991. "Forecasting Pre-World War I Inflation: The Fisher Effect and the Gold Standard," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 815-836.
    9. Wicksell, Knut, 1907. "The Influence of the Rate of Interest on Prices," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17, pages 213-220.
    10. Hafer, R W & Jansen, Dennis W, 1991. "The Demand for Money in the United States: Evidence from Cointegration Tests," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 155-168, May.
    11. Klovland Jan Tore, 1993. "Zooming in on Sauerbeck: Monthly Wholesale Prices in Britain 1845-1890," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 195-228, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Di Iorio & Stefano Fachin, 2009. "A residual-based bootstrap test for panel cointegration," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 3222-3232.
    2. Cheng, Hao & Kesselring, Randall G. & Brown, Christopher R., 2013. "The Gibson paradox: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 82-93.

    More about this item


    Fama-Fisher Paradox; Gibson’s Paradox; inelastic money; flexible prices; gold standard;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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