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Can Domestic Policies Influence Inflation?

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  • Mr. Ashoka Mody
  • Ms. Franziska L Ohnsorge

Abstract

Globalization operates not only by reducing domestic pressures on inflation but also by reducing the scope of domestic authorities to influence the pace of inflation. First, as markets are integrated, the common, cross-border sources of inflation increase, reducing the extent of domestically-generated inflation. Based on a methodology identifying common time and sectoral trends, we find this to be especially the case in the countries of the eurozone, with their longer histories of product market integration. Second, even the domestically-generated component of inflation may be difficult to manipulate. Policies act, especially in the shortrun, through managing domestic demand. But the relationship between domestic demand (proxied by the output gap and unit labor cost growth) and inflation has been weak, constrained in part by trade openness. Moreover, the domestic component of inflation contains a country-specific international catch-up process that generates price equalization across countries. The evidence is that catch-up has accelerated with increasing market integration. Thus, for the eurozone economies, there may be limits on the use of fiscal and labor market policies to contain inflation. The new member states may not have policy leverage to meet the Maastricht inflation limit necessary for entering the eurozone. Casestudies show that fiscal consolidation needed to comply with the inflation criterion can be large and sustained only briefly to get under the Maastricht wire.

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  • Mr. Ashoka Mody & Ms. Franziska L Ohnsorge, 2007. "Can Domestic Policies Influence Inflation?," IMF Working Papers 2007/257, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2007/257
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    Cited by:

    1. Mr. Emil Stavrev, 2009. "Forces Driving Inflation in the New EU10 Members," IMF Working Papers 2009/051, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Égert, Balázs, 2011. "Catching-up and inflation in Europe: Balassa-Samuelson, Engel's Law and other culprits," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 208-229, June.
    3. Isabell Koske & Nigel Pain, 2008. "The Usefulness of Output Gaps for Policy Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 621, OECD Publishing.
    4. Fröhling, Annette & Lommatzsch, Kirsten, 2011. "Output sensitivity of inflation in the euro area: Indirect evidence from disaggregated consumer prices," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,25, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Josef Baumgartner, 2008. "Statistische Zerlegung produktspezifischer Inflationsraten in Österreich," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 81(9), pages 677-691, September.
    6. Josef Baumgartner, 2008. "Statistical Decomposition of Product-Specific Inflation Rates in Austria," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 13(4), pages 156-170, December.
    7. Jane E. Ihrig & Steven B. Kamin & Deborah J. Lindner & Jaime R. Marquez, 2007. "Some simple tests of the globalization and inflation hypothesis," International Finance Discussion Papers 891, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    13. Ms. Dora M Iakova, 2007. "Flattening of the Phillips Curve: Implications for Monetary Policy," IMF Working Papers 2007/076, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Siklos, Pierre L., 2010. "Meeting Maastricht: Nominal convergence of the new member states toward EMU," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 507-515, March.
    15. Sandra Eickmeier & Katharina Pijnenburg, 2013. "The Global Dimension of Inflation – Evidence from Factor-Augmented Phillips Curves," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(1), pages 103-122, February.

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