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Measuring changes in the value of the numeraire

  • Ricardo Reis
  • Mark W. Watson

This paper estimates a common component in many price series that has an equiproportional effect on all prices. Changes in this component can be interpreted as changes in the value of the numeraire since, by definition, they leave all relative prices unchanged. The first aim of the paper is to measure these changes. The paper provides a framework for identifying this component, suggests an estimator for the component based on a dynamic factor model, and assesses its performance relative to alternative estimators. Using 187 U.S. time-series on prices, we estimate changes in the value of the numeraire from 1960 to 2006, and further decompose these changes into a part that is related to relative price movements and a residual ‘exogenous’ part. The second aim of the paper is to use these estimates to investigate two economic questions. First, we show that the size of exogenous changes in the value of the numeraire helps distinguish between different theories of pricing, and that the U.S. evidence argues against several strict theories of nominal rigidities. Second, we find that changes in the value of the numeraire are significantly related to changes in real quantities, and discuss interpretations of this apparent non-neutrality.

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/measuring-changes-in-the-value-of-the-numeraire/kap1364.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1364.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1364
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  1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1996. "Nobel Lecture: Monetary Neutrality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 661-82, August.
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  4. 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.
  5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Implications of Dynamic Factor Models for VAR Analysis," NBER Working Papers 11467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
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  9. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2003. "What Measure of Inflation Should a Central Bank Target?," Scholarly Articles 3415322, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc P. & Mihov, Ilian, 2006. "Sticky prices and monetary policy: Evidence from disaggregated US data," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/14, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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  12. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  13. Anonymous, 1994. "Six monthly Monetary Policy Statement June 1994," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 57, June.
  14. M.F. Bryan & S.G. Cecchetti & R. O'Sullivan, 2001. "Asset Prices in the Measurement of Inflation," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 62, Netherlands Central Bank.
  15. M. L. Weitzman, 1974. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy," Working papers 125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  18. Willem H. Buiter, 2007. "Is numérairology the future of monetary economics?: unbundling numéraire and medium of exchange through a virtual currency and a shadow exchange rate," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19759, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  26. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  28. Pivetta, Frederic & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "The persistence of inflation in the United States," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1326-1358, April.
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  30. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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