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Testing for Explosive Behaviour in Relative Inflation Measures: Implications for Monetary Policy


  • Vipin Arora
  • Pedro Gomis-Porqueras
  • Shuping Shi


In this paper we test for large deviations in headline measures of the price level relative to core measures using the recently proposed test of Phillips et al. (2011a). We find evidence of explosive behaviour in the headline price index of personal consumption expenditures (PCE) relative to the core PCE (less food and energy prices) on three occasions from 1982-2010. Two of these episodes correspond to energy supply shocks (OPEC price collapse of 1986 and Hurricane Katrina). The third one is during March 2008 through September 2008 which seems to be driven by both food and energy prices as these indices exhibit explosive behaviour. We also find evidence suggesting that inflation expectations behave differently under normal and explosive periods. In particular, unemployment and interest rates also help predict inflation expectations during explosive episodes relative to normal times. Furthermore, explosive episodes in the relative measure between headline and core inflation is found to be more important than the relative volatile periods implied by a Markov-switching model when studying inflation expectations. The findings of this paper suggest that explosive behaviour of headline versus core PCE should be taken into account when conducting monetary policy as it is a key determinant in consumers’ inflation expectations.

Suggested Citation

  • Vipin Arora & Pedro Gomis-Porqueras & Shuping Shi, 2011. "Testing for Explosive Behaviour in Relative Inflation Measures: Implications for Monetary Policy," Monash Economics Working Papers 37-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2011-37

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter C.B. Phillips & Shu-Ping Shi & Jun Yu, 2011. "Testing for Multiple Bubbles," Working Papers 09-2011, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    2. Bodenstein, Martin & Erceg, Christopher J. & Guerrieri, Luca, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy with distinct core and headline inflation rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 18-33, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:easeco:v:44:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_eej.2015.50 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wen-Yi Chen & Yia-Wun Liang & Yu-Hui Lin, 2016. "Is the United States in the middle of a healthcare bubble?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(1), pages 99-111, January.
    3. Benjamin Wong, 2015. "Do Inflation Expectations Propagate the Inflationary Impact of Real Oil Price Shocks?: Evidence from the Michigan Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(8), pages 1673-1689, December.
    4. Chen, Mei-Ping & Lin, Yu-Hui & Tseng, Chun-Yao & Chen, Wen-Yi, 2015. "Bubbles in health care: Evidence from the U.S., U.K., and German stock markets," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 193-205.
    5. Robert G. Murphy & Adam Rohde, 2014. "Rational Bias in Inflation Expectations," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 857, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 25 Oct 2015.
    6. Wen-Yi Chen & Yia-Wun Liang & Yu-Hui Lin, 2016. "Is the United States in the middle of a healthcare bubble?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(1), pages 99-111, January.

    More about this item


    Explosive behaviour; core inflation; relative measure; inflation expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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