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Nominal rigidities and the optimal rate of inflation

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  • Andersen, Torben M.

Abstract

This paper analyses two reasons why inflation may interfere with price adjustment so as to create inefficiencies in resource allocation at low rates of inflation. The first argument is that the higher the rate of inflation the lower the likelihood that downward nominal rigidities are binding (the Tobin argument) which implies a non-linear Phillips-curve. The second argument is that low inflation strengthens nominal price rigidities and thus impairs the flexibility of the price system resulting in a less efficient resource allocation. It is argued that inflation can be too low from a welfare point of view due to the presence of nominal rigidities, but the quantitative importance is an open question. Klassifikation:

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Torben M., 1999. "Nominal rigidities and the optimal rate of inflation," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/08, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:199908
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1994. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(423), pages 247-261, March.
    2. Anthony Yates, 1998. "Downward nominal rigidity and monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 82, Bank of England.
    3. 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.
    4. Martin S. Feldstein, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Going from Low Inflation to Price Stability," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 123-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lilien, David M, 1982. "Sectoral Shifts and Cyclical Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 777-793, August.
    6. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
    7. Spencer, David E, 1998. "The Relative Stickiness of Wages and Prices," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 120-137, January.
    8. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1991. "On the Stubbornness of Sticky Prices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 69-75, February.
    9. Danziger, Leif, 1988. "Costs of Price Adjustment and the Welfare Economics of Inflation and Disinflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 633-646, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    nominal rigidities; allocative efficiency; optimal rate of inflation;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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