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Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Redux

  • Saroj Bhattarai
  • Gauti Eggertsson
  • Raphael Schoenle

We study the implications of increased price flexibility on output volatility. In a simple DSGE model, we show analytically that more flexible prices always amplify output volatility for supply shocks and also amplify output volatility for demand shocks if monetary policy does not respond strongly to inflation. More flexible prices often reduce welfare, even under optimal monetary policy if full efficiency cannot be attained. We estimate a medium-scale DSGE model using post-WWII U.S. data. In a counterfactual experiment we find that if prices and wages are fully flexible, the standard deviation of annualized output growth more than doubles.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19886.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19886
Note: ME
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1996. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions When Expected Returns are Time Varying," NBER Working Papers 5857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Klenow, Peter J. & Malin, Benjamin A., 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 6, pages 231-284 Elsevier.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  5. Blake LeBaron, 2010. "Heterogeneous Gain Learning and the Dynamics of Asset Prices," Working Papers 29, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised Dec 2010.
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  7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," NBER Working Papers 5046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Igor Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens & Klaus Schenk-Hoppé, 2006. "Evolutionary stable stock markets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 449-468, January.
  11. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  12. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2008. "Great Expectations and the End of the Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1476-1516, September.
  13. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  14. James Tobin, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 387, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Gregory de Walque & Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2006. "Price Shocks in General Equilibrium: Alternative Specifications," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 153-176, March.
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