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The Genesis of Inflation and the Costs of Disinflation

  • Laurence Ball

This essay asks how high inflation arises and why it is costly to eliminate. Specifically, the paper discusses the roles of price rigidity and credibility problems in explaining the costs of disinflation; the puzzle of persistent inflation triggered by onetime macroeconomic shocks; and the case for returning to adaptive expectations in theories of inflation.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3621.

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Date of creation: Feb 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, August 1991, 23(3), Part 2, pp. 439-452
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3621
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  1. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h07k8vf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1985. "A Near-Rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Inertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 823-838.
  4. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  5. John Haltiwanger & Michael Waldman, 1989. "Limited Rationality and Strategic Complements: The Implications for Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 463-483.
  6. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
  8. Laurence Ball, 1990. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price Setting," NBER Working Papers 3555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  10. Zeira, Joseph, 1989. "Inflationary inertia in a wage-price spiral model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1665-1683, October.
  11. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Beyond the Natural Rate Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 182-87, May.
  12. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Inflation and Reputation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 530-38, June.
  13. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203.
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