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Forecasting Inflation: the Relevance of Higher Moments


  • Jane M. Binner

    (Aston University)

  • C. Thomas Elger

    (Lund University)

  • Barry E. Jones

    (SUNY Binghamton)

  • Birger Nilsson

    (Lund University)


We provide evidence that higher moments of the relative price distribution improve out-of-sample forecasts of inflation. Further, we show how theoretically consistent higher moments can be calculated by expanding the seminal work by Theil (1967). Results presented here are of direct relevance to monetary authorities, policy analysts and academic economists

Suggested Citation

  • Jane M. Binner & C. Thomas Elger & Barry E. Jones & Birger Nilsson, 2006. "Forecasting Inflation: the Relevance of Higher Moments," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 407, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:407

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bordo, Michael David, 1980. "The Effects of Monetary Change on Relative Commodity Prices and the Role of Long-Term Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1088-1109, December.
    2. Balke, Nathan S. & Wynne, Mark A., 2000. "An equilibrium analysis of relative price changes and aggregate inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 269-292, April.
    3. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "A comparison of direct and iterated multistep AR methods for forecasting macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 499-526.
    4. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
    5. Vining, Daniel R, Jr & Elwertowski, Thomas C, 1976. "The Relationship between Relative Prices and the General Price Level," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 699-708, September.
    6. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    8. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 161-193.
    9. Parks, Richard W, 1978. "Inflation and Relative Price Variability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 79-95, February.
    10. Cukierman, Alex, 1983. "Relative price variability and inflation: A survey and further results," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 103-157, January.
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    12. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1999. "Inflation And The Distribution Of Price Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 188-196, May.
    13. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
    14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    15. Barnett, William A. & Serletis, Apostolos, 1990. "A dispersion-dependency diagnostic test for aggregation error : With applications to monetary economics and income distribution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 5-34.
    16. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1977. "Inflation and Costs of Price Adjustment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 287-303.
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    More about this item


    relative price distribution; higher moments; out-of-sample inflation forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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