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Predicting Inflation: Does The Quantity Theory Help?

Author

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  • Lance J. Bachmeier

    (East Carolina University)

  • Norman R. Swanson

    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

Various inflation forecasting models are compared using a simulated out-of-sample forecasting framework. We focus on the question of whether monetary aggregates are useful for forecasting inflation, but unlike previous work we examine a wide range of forecast horizons and allow for estimated as well as theoretically specified cointegrating relationships in some of our models. Our findings indicate that there are forecasting gains from allowing monetary aggregates to enter into prediction models via cointegrating restrictions among money, prices, and output derived from a simple version of the quantity theory, but only when the cointegrating relations are specified a priori based on economic theory. When estimated cointegrating relations are used in a vector error correction (VEC) model, a vector autoregression (VAR) model in differences predicts better. These results hold, even during the 1990s, and evidence is presented suggesting that previous findings of a breakdown in the cointegrating relationship among prices, money, and output is the result of a failure of M2 as a measure of the money stock, and is not due to money demand instabilities. Two Monte Carlo experiments that lend credence to our findings are also reported on. The first shows that cointegration vector parameter estimation error is crucial when using VEC models for forecasting, and helps to explain previous findings of the failure of VEC models to forecast better than VAR models. The second shows that random walk and other atheoretical models routinely forecast better than correctly specified alternative models, due to parameter estimation error, indicating that caution needs to be exercised when interpreting the results of such comparisons, particularly when making statements concerning the usefulness of empirical models for use in policy-setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Lance J. Bachmeier & Norman R. Swanson, 2003. "Predicting Inflation: Does The Quantity Theory Help?," Departmental Working Papers 200317, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200317
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    4. Helge Berger & Pär Österholm, 2011. "Does Money Growth Granger Cause Inflation in the Euro Area? Evidence from Out‐of‐Sample Forecasts Using Bayesian VARs," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(276), pages 45-60, March.
    5. Ratti, Ronald A. & Vespignani, Joaquin L., 2016. "Oil prices and global factor macroeconomic variables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 198-212.
    6. Chengsi Zhang, 2013. "Monetary Dynamics of Inflation in China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 737-760, June.
    7. Valentina Corradi & Norman R. Swanson, 2007. "Nonparametric Bootstrap Procedures For Predictive Inference Based On Recursive Estimation Schemes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 67-109, February.
    8. Vespignani, Joaquin L. & Ratti, Ronald A., 2016. "Not all international monetary shocks are alike for the Japanese economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 822-837.
    9. Helge Berger & Pär Österholm, 2011. "Does Money matter for U.S. Inflation? Evidence from Bayesian VARs," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(3), pages 531-550, September.
    10. Moosa, Imad A. & Vaz, John J., 2016. "Cointegration, error correction and exchange rate forecasting," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 21-34.
    11. Sousa, Joao Miguel & Zaghini, Andrea, 2007. "Global monetary policy shocks in the G5: A SVAR approach," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 403-419, December.
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    13. Horváth, Roman & Komárek, Luboš & Rozsypal, Filip, 2011. "Does money help predict inflation? An empirical assessment for Central Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 523-536.
    14. Ratti, Ronald A. & Vespignani, Joaquin L., 2014. "Oil prices and the economy: A global perspective," MPRA Paper 59407, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Wang, Ying & Tu, Yundong & Chen, Song Xi, 2016. "Improving inflation prediction with the quantity theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 112-115.
    16. Barbara Roffia & Andrea Zaghini, 2007. "Excess Money Growth and Inflation Dynamics," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 241-280, December.
    17. Claude Hillinger & Bernd Süssmuth & Marco Sunder, 2015. "The Quantity Theory of Money: Valid Only for High and Medium Inflation?," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot GmbH, Berlin, vol. 61(4), pages 315-329.
    18. Doyle, Matthew, 2006. "Empirical Phillips Curves in OECD Countries: Has There Been A Common Breakdown?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12684, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    19. Michael Graff, 2008. "The Quantity Theory of Money in Historical Perspective," KOF Working papers 08-196, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    20. Dong Jin Lee, 2009. "Testing Parameter Stability in Quantile Models: An Application to the U.S. Inflation Process," Working papers 2009-26, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    21. Garratt, Anthony & Koop, Gary & Mise, Emi & Vahey, Shaun P., 2009. "Real-Time Prediction With U.K. Monetary Aggregates in the Presence of Model Uncertainty," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 480-491.
    22. Zhenzhong Wang & Zhengyuan Zhu & Cindy Yu, 2020. "Variable Selection in Macroeconomic Forecasting with Many Predictors," Papers 2007.10160, arXiv.org.
    23. Berger, Helge & Österholm, Pär, 2008. "Does money growth granger-cause inflation in the Euro Area? Evidence from output-of-sample forecasts using Bayesian VARs," Discussion Papers 2008/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    24. Mr. Arto Kovanen, 2011. "Does Money Matter for Inflation in Ghana?," IMF Working Papers 2011/274, International Monetary Fund.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation; Phillips curve; Forecast evaluation; cointegration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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