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Testing Price Equations

  • Ray C. Fair

How inflation and unemployment are related in both the short run and long run is perhaps the key question in macroeconomics. This paper tests various price equations using quarterly U.S. data from 1952 to the present. Issues treated are the following. 1) Estimating price and wage equations in which wages affect prices and vice versa versus estimating "reduced form" price equations with no wage explanatory variables. 2) Estimating price equations in (log) level terms, rst difference (i.e., inflation) terms, and second difference (i.e., change in inflation) terms. 3) The treatment of expectations. 4) The choice and functional form of the demand variable. 5) The choice of the cost-shock variable. The results reject the use of rational expectations and suggest that the best speci cation is a price equation in level terms imbedded in a price-wage model, where the wage equation is also in level terms. The best cost-shock variable is the import price deflator, and the best demand variable is the unemployment rate. There is some evidence of a nonlinear effect of the unemployment rate on the price level at low values of the unemployment rate. Many of the results in this paper are contrary to common views in the literature, but the empirical support for them is strong.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1342.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1342
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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2005. "Real wage rigidities and the new Keynesian model," Economics Working Papers 912, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
  2. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2001. "New tests of the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2006. "Can Rational Expectations Sticky-Price Models Explain Inflation Dynamics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 303-320, March.
  5. Jeremy Rudd & Karl Whelan, 2005. "Modelling inflation dynamics: a critical review of recent research," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-66, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Ray Fair, 2006. "Evaluating Inflation Targeting Using a Macroeconometric Model," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2483, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2007.
  7. Ray C. Fair & John B. Taylor, 1989. "Full Information Estimation and Stochastic Simulation of Models with Rational Expectations," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "The [un]importance of forward-looking behavior in price specifications," Working Papers 95-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Ray C. Fair, 2006. "Evaluating Inflation Targeting Using a Macroeconometric Model," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000303, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. George L. Perry, 1980. "Inflation in Theory and Practice," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 207-260.
  11. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Panel discussion: understanding price determination: where are we now? where should we be going?," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Linde, Jesper, 2005. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips curves: A full information maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1135-1149, September.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  14. Kurmann, Andre, 2007. "VAR-based estimation of Euler equations with an application to New Keynesian pricing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 767-796, March.
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