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Jel Classification:E31 

Discussion Paper
Inflation Expectations in Times of COVID-19

As an important driver of the inflation process, inflation expectations must be monitored closely by policymakers to ensure they remain consistent with long-term monetary policy objectives. In particular, if inflation expectations start drifting away from the central bank’s objective, they could become permanently “un-anchored” in the long run. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis unlike any other, its impact on short- and medium-term inflation has been challenging to predict. In this post, we summarize the results of our forthcoming paper that makes use of the Survey of Consumer ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200513

Pass-through of exchange rates and import prices to domestic inflation in some industrialized economies

This paper examines the impact of exchange rates and import prices on the domestic producer price index and consumer price index in selected industrialized economies. The empirical model is a vector autoregression incorporating a distribution chain of pricing. When the model is estimated over the post-Bretton Woods era, impulse responses indicate that exchange rates have a modest effect on domestic price inflation while import prices have a stronger effect. Pass-through is larger in countries with a larger import share and more persistent exchange rates and import prices. Over 1996-98, these ...
Staff Reports , Paper 111

The FRBNY staff underlying inflation gauge: UIG

Monetary policymakers and long-term investors would benefit greatly from a measure of underlying inflation that uses all relevant information, is available in real time, and forecasts inflation better than traditional underlying inflation measures such as core inflation measures. This paper presents the ?FRBNY Staff Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG)? for CPI and PCE. Using a dynamic factor model approach, the UIG is derived from a broad data set that extends beyond price series to include a wide range of nominal, real, and financial variables. It also considers the specific and time-varying ...
Staff Reports , Paper 672

Do expected future marginal costs drive inflation dynamics?

This article discusses a more general interpretation of the two-step minimum distance estimation procedure proposed in earlier work by Sbordone. The estimator is again applied to a version of the New Keynesian Phillips curve, in which inflation dynamics are driven by the expected evolution of marginal costs. The article clarifies econometric issues, addresses concerns about uncertainty and model misspecification raised in recent studies, and assesses the robustness of previous results. While confirming the importance of forward-looking terms in accounting for inflation dynamics, it suggests ...
Staff Reports , Paper 204

The macroeconomics of trend inflation

Most macroeconomic models for monetary policy analysis are approximated around a zero inflation steady state, but most central banks target an inflation rate of about 2 percent. Many economists have recently proposed even higher inflation targets to reduce the incidence of the zero lower bound constraint on monetary policy. In this survey, we show that the conduct of monetary policy should be analyzed by appropriately accounting for the positive trend inflation targeted by policymakers. We first review empirical research on the evolution and dynamics of U.S. trend inflation and some proposed ...
Staff Reports , Paper 628

CONDI: a cost-of-nominal-distortions index

We construct a price index with weights for the prices of different PCE (personal consumption expenditures) goods chosen to minimize the welfare costs of nominal distortions. In this cost-of-nominal-distortions index (CONDI), the weights are computed in a multi-sector New Keynesian model with time-dependent price setting. The model is calibrated using U.S. data on the dispersion of price stickiness and labor shares across sectors. We find that the CONDI weights depend mostly on price stickiness and are less affected by the dispersion in labor shares. Moreover, CONDI stabilization closely ...
Staff Reports , Paper 367

Real-time inflation forecasting in a changing world

This paper revisits the accuracy of inflation forecasting using activity and expectations variables. We apply Bayesian-model averaging across different regression specifications selected from a set of potential predictors that includes lagged values of inflation, a host of real activity data, term structure data, nominal data, and surveys. In this model average, we can entertain different channels of structural instability by incorporating stochastic breaks in the regression parameters of each individual specification within this average, allowing for breaks in the error variance of the ...
Staff Reports , Paper 388

International shocks and domestic prices: how large are strategic complementarities?

How strong are strategic complementarities in price setting across firms? In this paper, we provide a direct empirical estimate of firms? price responses to changes in prices of their competitors. We develop a general framework and an empirical identification strategy to estimate the elasticities of a firm?s price response both to its own cost shocks and to the price changes of its competitors. Our approach takes advantage of a new micro-level data set for the Belgian manufacturing sector, which contains detailed information on firm domestic prices, marginal costs, and competitor prices. The ...
Staff Reports , Paper 771

Term Structures of Inflation Expectations and Real Interest Rates: The Effects of Unconventional Monetary Policy

Inflation expectations have recently received increased interest because of the uncertainty created by the Federal Reserve?s unprecedented reaction to the Great Recession. The effect of this reaction on the real economy is also an important topic. In this paper I use various surveys to produce a term structure of inflation expectations ? inflation expectations at any horizon from 3 to 120 months ? and an associated term structure of real interest rates. Inflation expectations extracted from this model track actual (ex-post) realizations of inflation quite well, and in terms of forecast ...
Staff Report , Paper 502

Working Paper
Customer Capital, Markup Cyclicality, and Amplification

This paper studies the importance of firm-level price markup dynamics for business cycle fluctuations. Using state-of-the-art IO techniques to measure the behavior of markups over the business cycle at the firm level, I find that markups are countercyclical with an average elasticity of -1.1 with respect to real GDP. Importantly, I find substantial heterogeneity in markup cyclicality across firms, with small firms having significantly more counter-cyclical markups than large firms. Then, I develop a general equilibrium model by embedding customer capital (due to deep habits as in Ravn, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-33


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Schoenle, Raphael 8 items

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