IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation

  • Thomas Sargent
  • Noah Williams
  • Tao Zha

We use a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate a model that allows temporary gaps between a true expectational Phillips curve and the monetary authority's approximating non-expectational Phillips curve. A dynamic programming problem implies that the monetary authority's inflation target evolves as its estimated Phillips curve moves. Our estimates attribute the rise and fall of post WWII inflation in the US to an intricate interaction between the monetary authority's beliefs and economic shocks. Shocks in the 1970s altered the monetary authority's estimates and made it misperceive the tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. That caused a sharp rise in inflation in the 1970s. Our estimates say that policymakers updated their beliefs continuously. By the 1980s, their beliefs about the Phillips curve had changed enough to account for Volcker's conquest of US inflation in the early 1980s.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10764.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10764.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Sargent, Thomas, Noah Williams and Tao Zha. "Shocks And Government Beliefs: The Rise And Fall Of American Inflation," American Economic Review, 2006, v96(4,Sep), 1193-1224.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10764
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  2. Peter N. Ireland, 2006. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 12492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Geweke, 1998. "Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication," Staff Report 249, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "The post-war U.S. Phillips curve: a revisionist econometric history," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
  7. James D. Hamilton & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2004. "Normalization in econometrics," Working Paper 2004-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  9. Henry W. Chappell, Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2005. "Committee Decisions on Monetary Policy: Evidence from Historical Records of the Federal Open Market Committee," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033305, June.
  10. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
  11. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah William, 2005. "Impacts of Priors on Convergence and Escapes from Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 360-391, April.
  12. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  14. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Cho, In-Koo & Williams, Noah & Sargent, Thomas J, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation (AER 2006) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10764. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.