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An Examination of Aggregate Price Uncertainty in Four Countries and SomeImplications for Real Output

  • Richard T. Froyen
  • Roger N. Waud

This study constructs measures of aggregate price uncertainty for four industrialized countries (Canada, West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States) and attempts to assess the extent to which more rapid and more variable price changes appear to have contributed to increased aggregate price uncertainty. For this purpose we examine the relationship across countries and through time between the rate of inflation, inflation variability, and our measures of price uncertainty. In addition we use our measures of price uncertainty to examine the hypothesis, variously put forward by Marshall, Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Okun, that higher aggregate price uncertainty is likely tor esult in lower real output and higher unemployment. Our results suggest that the higher and more variable inflation of the 1970s did increase uncertainty about the aggregate price level in Canada, Great Britain and the United States, but the evidence for West Germany would not sustain such a conclusion. Finally,we did find evidence of a significant negative output effect of aggregate price uncertainty for Canada and the United Kingdom, but not for the United States or West Germany.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1460.

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Date of creation: Sep 1984
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Froyen, Richard T. and Roger N. Waud. "An Examination of Aggregate Price Uncertainty in Four Countries and Some Implications for Real Output," International Economic Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1987, pp. 353-372.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1460
Note: ME EFG
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  1. Taylor, John B., 1981. "On the relation between the variability of inflation and the average inflation rate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 57-85, January.
  2. Cukierman, Alex & Wachtel, Paul, 1979. "Differential Inflationary Expectations and the Variability of the Rate of Inflation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 595-609, September.
  3. Blinder, Alan S, 1981. "Monetary Accommodation of Supply Shocks under Rational Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 13(4), pages 425-38, November.
  4. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  5. Makin, John H, 1982. "Anticipated Money, Inflation Uncertainty and Real Economic Activity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 126-34, February.
  6. Mullineaux, Donald J, 1980. "Unemployment, Industrial Production, and Inflation Uncertainty in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(2), pages 163-69, May.
  7. Engle, Robert F, 1983. "Estimates of the Variance of U.S. Inflation Based upon the ARCH Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 286-301, August.
  8. Nelson, Charles R, 1979. "Recursive Structure in U.S. Income, Prices, and Output," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1307-27, December.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  10. Stanley Fischer & Franco Modigliani, 1978. "Towards An Understanding of the Real Effects and Costs of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 0303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard T. Froyen & Roger N. Waud, 1983. "Demand Variability, Supply Shocks and the Output-Inflation Tradeoff," NBER Working Papers 1081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Durbin, J, 1970. "Testing for Serial Correlation in Least-Squares Regression When Some of the Regressors are Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 410-21, May.
  13. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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