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Near-Rationality and Inflation in Two Monetary Regimes

  • Laurence Ball

Sticky-price models with rational expectations fail to capture the inertia in U.S. inflation. Models with backward-looking expectations capture current inflation behavior, but are unlikely to fit other monetary regimes. This paper seeks to overcome these problems with a near-rational model of expectations. In the model, agents make univariate forecasts of inflation: they use information on past inflation optimally, but they ignore other variables. The paper tests sticky-price models with near-rational expectations for two periods in U.S. history, the post-1960 period of persistent inflation and the period from 1879 to 1914, when inflation was not persistent. The models fit the data for both periods; in contrast, both rational-expectations and backward-looking models fail for at least one period.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7988.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Publication status: published as Laurence Ball, 2000. "Near-rationality and inflation in two monetary regimes," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7988
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  17. Cochrane, John H, 1989. "The Sensitivity of Tests of the Intertemporal Allocation of Consumption to Near-Rational Alternatives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 319-37, June.
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  19. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
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