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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. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2005. "Great expectations and the end of the depression," Staff Reports 234, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. 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.
  3. James Tobin, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 387, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. 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.
  5. Oleksiy Kryvtsov & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does It Matter For Recent U.S. Inflation?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 277, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. LeBaron, Blake, 2012. "Heterogeneous gain learning and the dynamics of asset prices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 424-445.
  8. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  12. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Igor Evstigneev & Thorsten Hens & Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé, . "Evolutionary Stable Stock Markets," IEW - Working Papers 170, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. 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.
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