IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7482.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Understanding Inflation: Implications for Monetary Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen G. Cecchetti
  • Erica L. Groshen

Abstract

This paper discusses how optimal monetary policy is affected by differences in the combination of shocks an economy experiences and the rigidities it exhibits. Without both nominal rigidities and economic shocks, monetary policy would be irrelevant. Recognizing this, policymakers increasingly incorporate the understanding gained from new research on rigidities and shocks into both their policy actions and the design of monetary institutions. Specifically, shocks can be predominantly real, affecting relative prices, or primarily nominal, moving the general price level. They may also be big or small, frequent or rare. Similarly, some nominal rigidities are symmetrical, affecting both upward and downward movements equally, while others are asymmetrical, restricting decreases more than increases. After reviewing major trends in the conduct of monetary policy, we describe how the growing theoretical and empirical literature on shocks and rigidities informs three crucial dimensions of monetary policymaking. First, we discuss why trimmed means provide the best measure of core inflation. Second, we outline how rigidities impede policymakers' ability to control inflation. And third, we describe how alternative shock/rigidity combinations create inflation's grease (whereby it improves economic efficiency by speeding adjustment) and sand effects (whereby it distorts price signals) with their contrasting implications for the optimal level of inflation. We conclude by considering some key implications for monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen G. Cecchetti & Erica L. Groshen, 2000. "Understanding Inflation: Implications for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 7482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7482
    Note: ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7482.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Dean Hyslop, 1997. "Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 71-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-472, June.
    3. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti & Rodney L. Wiggins II, 1997. "Efficient Inflation Estimation," NBER Working Papers 6183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Logan Rangasamy, 2011. "Food Inflation In South Africa: Some Implications For Economic Policy," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 79(2), pages 184-201, June.
    2. Fiorencio, A & Moreira, A.R.B., 2000. "O Núcleo da Inflação como a Tendência Comum dos Preços," Insper Working Papers wpe_2, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    3. Sandor Valkovszky & Janos Vincze, 2001. "On price level stability, real interest rates and core inflation," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Modelling aspects of the inflation process and the monetary transmission mechanism in emerging market countries, volume 8, pages 151-174 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Benner, Joachim & Borbély, Dóra & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Kamps, Christophe & Kamps, Annette & Sander, Birgit & Scheide, Joachim, 2003. "Durchgreifende Erholung der Weltkonjunktur nochmals verzögert," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 2983, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Vaclav Rybacek, 2015. "Price Rigidities And The Market Process," Review of Social and Economic Issues, Romanian-American University, vol. 1(2), pages 74-83, march.
    6. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2002. "Monetary Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates: An Introduction to Inflation Targeting," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 3, pages 079-170 Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Luc Aucremanne & Guy Brys & Peter J Rousseeuw & Anja Struyf & Mia Hubert, 2003. "Inflation, relative prices and nominal rigidities," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 81-105 Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Silvia Fabiani & Angela Gattulli & Roberto Sabbatini, 2003. "La rigidità dei prezzi in Italia," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 56(223), pages 325-358.
    9. Lei Lei Song, 2003. "The Role of the Unit of Analysis in Tax Policy Reform Evaluations," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n29, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    10. repec:sbe:breart:v:24:y:2004:i:2:a:2710 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Araujo, Eurilton & Fiorencio, Antonio, 2002. "Frequency Domain Analysis of Core Inflation Measures for Brasil," Insper Working Papers wpe_28, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    12. Martins Bitans & Dace Slakota & Ivars Tillers, 2001. "Price Dynamics in Latvia - Experience and Future Prospects," Working Papers 2001/01, Latvijas Banka.
    13. Martins Bitans, 2002. "Real Exchange Rate in Latvia (1994-2001)," Working Papers 2002/01, Latvijas Banka.
    14. Lei Lei Song, 2005. "Do underlying measures of inflation outperform headline rates? Evidence from Australian data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 339-345.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7482. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.