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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. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  2. Fair, Ray C., 2007. "Evaluating Inflation Targeting Using a Macroeconometric Model," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 1, pages 1-52.
  3. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2005. "New tests of the new-Keynesian Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1167-1181, September.
  4. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2005. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 11806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2003. "Can Rational Expectations Sticky-Price Models Explain Inflation Dynamics," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/03, Central Bank of Ireland.
  6. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "The (Un)Importance of Forward-Looking Behavior in Price Specifications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 338-50, August.
  7. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/201 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
  9. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2005. "Modelling Inflation Dynamics: A Critical Review of Recent Research," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/05, Central Bank of Ireland.
  10. Lindé, Jesper, 2001. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips Curves: A Full Information Maximum Likelihood Approach," Working Paper Series 129, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 30 Apr 2001.
  11. 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.
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  13. Ray C. Fair & John B. Taylor, 1991. "Full Information Estimation and Stochastic Simulation of Models with Rational Expectations," NBER Technical Working Papers 0078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
  15. 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.).
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