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Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode
We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment gap. Previous work fails to model this dependence, so it finds numerous “inflation puzzles”—such as missing inflation/disinflation—noted in the literature. Our model specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, and inflation is not “stubbornly low” at present. The model’s coefficients are stable, and it provides accurate conditional recursive ...
The Intermittent Phillips Curve: Finding a Stable (But Persistence-Dependent) Phillips Curve Model Specification
We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment rate gap. This persistence-dependent relationship appears to align with business-cycle stages and is thus consistent with existing theory. Previous work fails to model this dependence, thereby finding numerous "inflation puzzles" – e.g., missing inflation/disinflation – noted in the literature. Our specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, nor was ...
Non-Linear Phillips Curves with Inflation Regime-Switching
Building on the results in Nalewaik (FEDS 2015-93), this work models wage growth and core PCE price inflation as regime-switching processes, whose characteristics in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s differ fundamentally from their characteristics in the 1960s and from the mid-1990s to present. The key innovation here is the addition to the models of fundamental driving variables like labor-market slack, and the evidence strongly suggests a non-linear effect of slack on wage growth and core PCE price inflation that becomes much larger after labor markets tighten beyond a certain point. The ...
The Active Role of the Natural Rate of Unemployment during Cyclical Recoveries
We propose that the natural rate of unemployment has an active role in the business cycle, in contrast to the prevailing view that the rate is essentially constant. We demonstrate that this tendency to treat the natural rate as near-constant would explain the surprisingly low slope of the Phillips curve. We show that the natural rate closely tracked the actual rate during the long recovery that began in 2009 and ended in 2020. We explain how the common finding of research in the Phillips-curve framework of low-often extremely low-response of inflation to unemployment could be the result of ...
Variation in the Phillips Curve Relation across Three Phases of the Business Cycle
We use recently developed econometric tools to demonstrate that the Phillips curve unemployment rate?inflation rate relationship varies in an economically meaningful way across three phases of the business cycle. The first (?bust phase?) relationship is the one highlighted by Stock and Watson (2010): A sharp reduction in inflation occurs as the unemployment rate is rising rapidly. The second (?recovery phase?) relationship occurs as the unemployment rate subsequently begins to fall; during this phase, inflation is unrelated to any conventional unemployment gap. The final (?overheating phase?) ...