On December 12, 2019, Fed in Print will introduce its new platform for discovering content. Please direct your questions to Anna Oates

Home About Latest Browse RSS Advanced Search

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Research Working Paper
Rising Market Concentration and the Decline of Food Price Shock Pass-Through to Core Inflation
Jason Brown
Colton Tousey
Abstract

Using a vector autoregression that allows for time-varying parameters and stochastic volatility, we show that U.S. core inflation became 75 percent less responsive to shocks in food prices since the late 1970s. The decline in the pass-through of food price shocks to inflation is a result of a decline in both volatility and the persistence of food price changes in inflation. This decline in pass-through coincides with a period of increasing concentration in the food supply chain, especially among U.S. grocery retailers and distributors. We find that 60 percent of the variation in pass-through over the last four decades can be explained by changes in food retailers’ and distributors’ market concentration. Controlling for the composition of the food basket and inflation expectations explains an additional 20 percent of the variation.

Our results suggest that if the market concentration of food retailers and distributors continues to increase and inflation expectations remain well-anchored, the pass-through of food price shocks to inflation will likely remain subdued.


Download Full text
Cite this item
Jason Brown & Colton Tousey, Rising Market Concentration and the Decline of Food Price Shock Pass-Through to Core Inflation, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Research Working Paper RWP 19-2, 13 Jun 2019.
More from this series
JEL Classification:
Subject headings:
Keywords: Food Prices; Inflation; Time-varying Parameters
DOI: 10.18651/RWP2019-02
For corrections, contact Lu Dayrit ()
Fed-in-Print is the central catalog of publications within the Federal Reserve System. It is managed and hosted by the Economic Research Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Privacy Legal