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On Quality Bias and Inflation Targets

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  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe
  • Martin Uribe

Abstract

A policy issue central banks are confronted with is whether inflation targets should be adjusted to account for the systematic upward bias in measured inflation due to quality improvements in consumption goods. We show that in the context of a Ramsey equilibrium the answer to this question depends on what prices are assumed to be sticky. If nonquality-adjusted prices are assumed to be sticky, then the Ramsey plan predicts that the inflation target should not be corrected. If, on the other hand, quality-adjusted (or hedonic) prices are assumed to be sticky, then the Ramsey plan calls for raising the inflation target by the magnitude of the bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2009. "On Quality Bias and Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 15505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Diercks, 2016. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 207, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ahrens, Steffen & Snower, Dennis J., 2014. "Envy, guilt, and the Phillips curve," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 69-84.
    3. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2010. "The Optimal Rate of Inflation," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 13, pages 653-722 Elsevier.
    4. Masashige Hamano, 2013. "On business cycles of variety and quality," CREA Discussion Paper Series 13-21, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    5. Ikeda, Daisuke, 2015. "Optimal inflation rates with the trending relative price of investment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 20-33.
    6. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:50:y:2018:i:6:p:1343-1363 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Diercks, Anthony M., 2015. "The Equity Premium, Long-Run Risk, & Optimal Monetary Policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-87, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2016. "Labor market frictions and optimal steady-state inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 67-79.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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