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How Inflation Affects Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Investigation

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  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Boris Gershman
  • Peter Howitt

Abstract

We use an agent-based computational approach to show how inflation can worsen macroeconomic performance by disrupting the mechanism of exchange in a decentralized market economy. We find that increasing the trend rate of inflation above 3 percent has a substantial deleterious effect, but lowering it below 3 percent has no significant macroeconomic consequences. Our finding remains qualitatively robust to changes in parameter values and to modifications to our model that partly address the Lucas critique. Finally, we contribute a novel explanation for why cross-country regressions may fail to detect a significant negative effect of trend inflation on output even when such an effect exists in reality.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul Ashraf & Boris Gershman & Peter Howitt, 2012. "How Inflation Affects Macroeconomic Performance: An Agent-Based Computational Investigation," NBER Working Papers 18225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18225
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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