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The Great Inflation Drift

Author

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  • Marvin Goodfriend
  • Robert G. King

Abstract

A standard statistical perspective on the U.S. Great Inflation is that it involves an increase in the stochastic trend rate of inflation, defined as the long-term forecast of inflation at each point in time. That perspective receives support from two sources: the behavior of long-term interest rates which are generally supposed to contain private sector forecasts, and statistical studies of U.S. inflation dynamics. We show that a textbook macroeconomic model delivers such a stochastic inflation trend, when there are shifts in the growth rate of capacity output, under two behavioral hypotheses about the central bank: (i) that it seeks to maintain output at capacity; and (ii) that it seeks to maintain continuity of the short-term interest rate. The theory then identifies major upswings in trend inflation with unexpectedly slow growth of capacity output. We interpret the rise of inflation in the U.S. from the perspective of this simple macroeconomic framework.

Suggested Citation

  • Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2009. "The Great Inflation Drift," NBER Working Papers 14862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14862
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    Other versions of this item:

    • Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2012. "The Great Inflation Drift," NBER Chapters,in: The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, pages 181-209 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Marvin Goodfriend, 2004. "Monetary policy in the new neoclassical synthesis : a primer," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 21-45.
    4. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
    5. Michael Woodford, 2008. "How Important Is Money in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1598, December.
    6. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A & Weil, David N, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 358-374, June.
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    10. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, February.
    11. Broadbent, Ben & Barro, Robert J., 1997. "Central bank preferences and macroeconomic equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 17-43, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berger, Tino & Everaert, Gerdie & Vierke, Hauke, 2016. "Testing for time variation in an unobserved components model for the U.S. economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 179-208.
    2. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat & Mikael Juselius, 2014. "A parsimonious approach to incorporating economic information in measures of potential output," BIS Working Papers 442, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Garcés Díaz Daniel, 2016. "Changes in Inflation Predictability in Major Latin American Countries," Working Papers 2016-20, Banco de México.
    4. Ohanian, Lee E., 2014. "The impact of monetary policy in the midst of big shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 35-48.
    5. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2013. "What does a Monetary Policy Shock Do? An International Analysis with Multiple Filters," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(5), pages 759-784, October.
    6. Bhamra, Harjoat S. & Fisher, Adlai J. & Kuehn, Lars-Alexander, 2011. "Monetary policy and corporate default," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(5), pages 480-494.
    7. Rochelle M. Edge & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2011. "How useful are estimated DSGE model forecasts?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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