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Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence

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  • Fabio Milani

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

What generates persistence in inflation? Is inflation persistence structural? This paper investigates learning as a potential source of persistence in inflation. The paper focuses on the price-setting problem of firms and presents a model that nests structural sources of persistence (indexation) and learning. Indexation is typically necessary under rational expectations to match the inertia in the data and to improve the fit of estimated New Keynesian Phillips curves. The empirical results show that when learning replaces the assumption of fully rational expectations, structural sources of persistence in inflation, such as indexation, become unsupported by the data. The results suggest learning behavior as the main source of persistence in inflation. This finding has implications for the optimal monetary policy. The paper also shows how one's results can heavily depend on the assumed learning speed. The estimated persistence and the model fit, in fact, vary across the whole range of constant gain values. The paper derives the best-fitting constant gains in the sample and shows that the learning speed has substantially changed over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Macroeconomics 0506013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0506013
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    Cited by:

    1. Lombardi, Marco J. & Sgherri, Silvia, 2007. "(Un)naturally low? Sequential Monte Carlo tracking of the US natural interest rate," Working Paper Series 794, European Central Bank.
    2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Pfajfar, Damjan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2010. "Heterogeneity, learning and information stickiness in inflation expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 426-444, September.
    4. Juan José Echavarría S. & Enrique López E. & Martha Misas A., 2013. "La persistencia estadística de la inflación en Colombia," Investigación Conjunta-Joint Research,in: Laura Inés D'Amato & Enrique López Enciso & María Teresa Ramírez Giraldo (ed.), Dinámica inflacionaria, persistencia y formación de precios y salarios, edition 1, chapter 6, pages 139-182 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
    5. Fabio Milani, 2006. "A Bayesian DSGE Model with Infinite-Horizon Learning: Do "Mechanical" Sources of Persistence Become Superfluous?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
    6. J. Huston McCulloch, 2005. "The Kalman Foundations of Adaptive Least Squares: Applications to Unemployment and Inflation," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 239, Society for Computational Economics.
    7. Sheedy, Kevin D., 2010. "Intrinsic inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1049-1061, November.
    8. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 5, pages 145-170 Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Milani, Fabio, 2008. "Learning, monetary policy rules, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3148-3165, October.
    10. Dieppe, Alistair & Pandiella, Alberto González & Hall, Stephen & Willman, Alpo, 2013. "Limited information minimal state variable learning in a medium-scale multi-country model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 808-825.
    11. Fanelli, Luca, 2007. "Evaluating the New Keynesian Phillips Curve under VAR-based learning," MPRA Paper 1616, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Guido Ascari & Argia M. Sbordone, 2014. "The Macroeconomics of Trend Inflation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(3), pages 679-739, September.
    13. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Interpreting Inflation Persistence: Comments on the Conference on "Quantitative Evidence on Price Determination"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 203-210, February.
    14. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
    15. Fanelli, Luca, 2008. "Evaluating New Keynesian Phillips Curve under VAR-Based Learning," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-24.
    16. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:293-317 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. PKG HARISCHANDRA & George CHOULIARAKIS, "undated". "Do Exchange Rate Regimes Matter for Inflation Persistence? Theory and Evidence from the History of UK and US Inflation," EcoMod2008 23800100, EcoMod.
    18. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Adaptive learning in practice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2659-2697, August.
    19. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts, 2010. "Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Learning to Believe in Disinflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 23-42, April.
    20. Fabio Milani, 2006. "The Evolution of the Fed's Inflation Target in an Estimated Model under RE and Learning," Working Papers 060704, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    21. Kevin Lansing, 2009. "Time Varying U.S. Inflation Dynamics and the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(2), pages 304-326, April.
    22. Emiliano Santoro & Damjan Pfajfar, 2006. "Heterogeneity and learning in inflation expectation formation: an empirical assessment," Department of Economics Working Papers 0607, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adaptive learning; inflation persistence; sticky prices; best- fitting constant gain; learning speed; expectations.;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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