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Inflation persistence and optimal positive long-run inflation

  • Pontiggia, Dario

In this paper we prove that (I) inefficient natural level of output (Friedman (1968)), (II) central bank's desire to stabilize output around a level that is higher than the inefficient natural level of output, (III) long-run Phillips curve trade-off, and (IV) inflation persistence result in optimal positive long-run inflation. The combination of (I), (II), and (III) makes positive inflation forever in principles desirable as it would result in positive output gap forever. Optimal positive steady-state inflation obtains if and only if there is a long-run incentive for positive inflation. Inflation persistence, defined as costly, in terms of output, disinflation, generates a long-run incentive for positive inflation. Optimal positive steady-state inflation obtains in the basic neo-Wicksellian model (Woodford (2003)) with inflation persistence due to backward-looking rule-of-thumb behaviour by price setters. Optimal positive long-run inflation also obtains in what we refer to as the nonmicrofounded model. Prescinding from hyperinflation, the formula for steady-state inflation is capable of providing a positive theory of inflation.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 3274.

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Date of creation: 17 May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:3274
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  1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ascari, Guido & Ropele, Tiziano, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy under low trend inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2568-2583, November.
  3. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
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  6. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Economics Working Papers 341, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  8. Stepahnie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Optimal Inflation Stabilization in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 5, pages 125-186 Central Bank of Chile.
  9. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
  10. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  12. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  13. Filippo Altissimo & Michael Ehrmann & Frank Smets, 2006. "Inflation persistence and price-setting behaviour in the euro area – a summary of the IPN evidence," Occasional Paper Series 46, European Central Bank.
  14. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
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