Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics 2019 Conference Summary
To provide insights into the processes that drive inflationary dynamics, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland holdsan annual conference on the topic of inflation: “Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics.” This Commentary summarizes thepapers presented at the 2019 conference.
Inflation dynamics during the financial crisis
Firms with limited internal liquidity significantly increased prices in 2008, while their liquidity unconstrained counterparts slashed prices. Differences in the firms' price-setting behavior were concentrated in sectors likely characterized by customer markets. The authors develop a model in which firms face financial frictions while setting prices in a customer-markets setting. Financial distortions create an incentive for firms to raise prices in response to adverse demand or financial shocks. These results reflect the firms' reaction to preserve internal liquidity and avoid accessing ...
Is increased price flexibility stabilizing? Redux
We study the implications of increased price flexibility on aggregate output volatility in a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. First, using a simplified version of the model, we show analytically that the results depend on the shocks driving the economy and the systematic response of monetary policy to inflation: More flexible prices amplify the effect of demand shocks on output if interest rates do not respond strongly to inflation, while higher flexibility amplifies the effect of supply shocks on output if interest rates are very responsive to inflation. Next, we estimate ...
Inflation Dynamics During the Financial Crisis
Firms with limited internal liquidity significantly increased prices in 2008, while their liquidity unconstrained counterparts slashed prices. Differences in the firms' price-setting behavior were concentrated in sectors likely characterized by customer markets. We develop a model, in which firms face financial frictions, while setting prices in a customer-markets setting. Financial distortions create an incentive for firms to raise prices in response to adverse demand or financial shocks. These results reflect the firms' reaction to preserve internal liquidity and avoid accessing external ...
Expected Post-Pandemic Consumption and Scarred Expectations from COVID-19
The COVID-19 vaccination drive raises questions about the trajectory of the economic recovery and the pandemic’s impact on consumers’ longer-term behaviors. In this Commentary, we examine the evolution of consumers’ expectations for their post-crisis spending on services that have been dramatically curtailed by the pandemic: visiting restaurants, bars, and hotels, using public transportation, and attending crowded events. We document a U-shaped pattern of expected future use of these services, with growing pessimism in summer 2020 that had largely reversed by fall 2020—for most ...
News and Uncertainty about COVID-19: Survey Evidence and Short-Run Economic Impact
A tailor-made survey documents consumer perceptions of the U.S. economy’s response to a large shock: the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey ran at a daily frequency between March 2020 and July 2021. Consumer perceptions regarding output and inflation react rapidly. Uncertainty is pervasive. A business-cycle model calibrated to the consumer views provides an interpretation. The rise in household uncertainty amplifies the pandemic recession by a factor of three. Different perceptions about monetary policy can explain why consumers and professional forecasters agree on the ...
Indirect Consumer Inflation Expectations
Surveys often measure consumers’ inflation expectations by asking directly about prices in general or overall inflation, concepts that may not be well-defined for some individuals. In this Commentary, we propose a new, indirect way of measuring consumer inflation expectations: Given consumers’ expectations about developments in prices of goods and services during the next 12 months, we ask them how their incomes would have to change to make them equally well-off relative to their current situation such that they could buy the same amount of goods and services as they can today. Using a ...
“Big G” typically refers to aggregate government spending on a homogeneous good. In this paper, we open up this construct by analyzing the entire universe of procurement contracts of the US government and establish five facts. First, government spending is granular; that is, it is concentrated in relatively few firms and sectors. Second, relative to private expenditures its composition is biased. Third, procurement contracts are short-lived. Fourth, idiosyncratic variation dominates the fluctuation in spending. Last, government spending is concentrated in sectors with relatively sticky ...
Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics | 2019 CEBRA Annual Meeting Session Summary
The relationship between the Phillips curve and inflation has become weaker over time, producing questions regarding how policymakers might connect inflation to the rest of the economy. Presentations given during the “Inflation: Drivers and Dynamics” session of the Central Bank Research Association’s annual meeting focused on the intersection of monetary policy and inflation dynamics to examine the ways in which policy might impact inflation and related expectations and processes. This Economic Commentary summarizes the papers presented during this session.
The Propagation of Monetary Policy Shocks in a Heterogeneous Production Economy
Realistic heterogeneity in price rigidity interacts with heterogeneity in sectoral size and input-output linkages in the transmission of monetary policy shocks. Quantitatively, heterogeneity in price stickiness is the central driver for real effects. Input-output linkages and consumption shares alter the identity of the most important sectors to the transmission. Reducing the number of sectors decreases monetary non-neutrality with a similar impact response of inflation. Hence, the initial response of inflation to monetary shocks is not sufficient to discriminate across models and ignoring ...