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On the Welfare and Cyclical Implications of Moderate Trend Inflation

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  • Guido Ascari
  • Louis Phaneuf
  • Eric Sims

Abstract

We offer a comprehensive evaluation of the welfare and cyclical implications of moderate trend inflation. In an extended version of a medium-scale New Keynesian model, recent proposals to increase trend inflation from 2 to 4 percent would generate a consumption-equivalent welfare loss of 3.7 percent based on the non-stochastic steady state and of 6.9 percent based on the stochastic mean. Welfare costs of this magnitude are driven by four main factors: i) multiperiod nominal wage contracting, ii) trend growth in investment-specific and neutral technology, iii) roundaboutness in the U.S. production structure, and iv) and the interaction between trend inflation and shocks to the marginal efficiency of investment (MEI), insofar that this type of shock is sufficiently persistent. Moreover, moderate trend inflation has important cyclical implications. It interacts much more strongly with MEI shocks than with either productivity or monetary shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Ascari & Louis Phaneuf & Eric Sims, 2015. "On the Welfare and Cyclical Implications of Moderate Trend Inflation," NBER Working Papers 21392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21392
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Dordal-i-Carreras & Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2016. "Infrequent but Long-Lived Zero-Bound Episodes and the Optimal Rate of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 22510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Philippe Andrade & Jordi Galí & Hervé Le Bihan & Julien Matheron, 2017. "The optimal inflation target and the natural rate of interest," Economics Working Papers 1591, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Nlemfu Mukoko, Jean Blaise, 2016. "On the Welfare Costs of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 72479, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2016.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:115-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nlemfu Mukoko, Jean Blaise, 2015. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Markups in the New Keynesian Models," MPRA Paper 72478, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2016.
    6. Lawrence J. Christiano, 2015. "Comment on "Networks and the Macroeconomy: An Empirical Exploration"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2015, Volume 30, pages 346-373 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lawrence J. Christiano, 2016. "Comment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 346-373.
    8. Guido Ascari & Louis Phaneuf & Eric Sims, 2016. "Business Cycles, Investment Shocks, and the "Barro-King" Curse," NBER Working Papers 22941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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