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Relative Price Distortions and Inflation Persistence

  • Tatiana Damjanovic

    ()

  • Charles Nolan

    ()

Many sticky-price models suggest that relative price distortion is one of the major costs of inflation. We show that this resource misallocation is costly even at quite low rates of inflation. This is because inflation strongly affects price dispersion which in turn has an impact on the economy qualitatively similar to, and of the order of magnitude of, a negative shift in productivity. Similarly, the utility cost of price dispersion is large. We incorporate price dispersion in a linearized model. This radically affects how shocks are transmitted through the economy. Notably, a contractionary nominal shock has a persistent, negative hump-shaped impact on inflation, but may have a positive hump-shaped impact on output. Observed persistence in the policy rate is not due to the policy rule per se.

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Paper provided by Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis in its series CDMA Working Paper Series with number 200611.

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Date of creation: 15 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:san:cdmawp:0611
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  1. Richard Mash, 2004. "Optimising Microfoundations for Inflation Persistence," Economics Series Working Papers 183, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2005. "Price- and wage- inflation targeting: variations on a theme by Erceg, Henderson, and Levin," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 181-215.
  4. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2005. "Real wage rigidities and the new Keynesian model," Economics Working Papers 912, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
  6. Anamaria Nicolae & Charles Nolan, 2004. "The Impact Of Imperfect Credibility In A Transition To Price Stability," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 102, Royal Economic Society.
  7. Gatti, J.R.J. & Kattuman, P., 2003. "Online Price Dispersion Within and Between Seven European Countries," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0343, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  9. Ireland, Peter N, 1997. "Stopping Inflations, Big and Small," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 759-75, November.
  10. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  11. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  12. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2004. "Price Dispersion In The Small And In The Large: Evidence From An Internet Price Comparison Site," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 463-496, December.
  13. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Panel discussion: understanding price determination: where are we now? where should we be going?," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  15. Hahn, F H, 1971. "Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(3), pages 417-39, May.
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