How robust are popular models of nominal frictions?
This paper analyzes three popular models of nominal price and wage frictions to determine which best fits post-war U.S. data. We construct a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model and use maximum likelihood to estimate each model's parameters. Because previous research finds that the conduct of monetary policy and the behavior of inflation changed in the early 1980s, we examine two distinct sample periods. Using a Bayesian, pseudo-odds measure as a means for comparison, a sticky price and wage model with dynamic indexation best fits the data in the early-sample period, whereas ...
Great expectations and the end of the depression
This paper argues that the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Depression was driven by a shift in expectations brought about by the policy actions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the monetary policy side, Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and-even more important-announced the policy objective of inflating the price level to pre-depression levels. On the fiscal policy side, Roosevelt expanded real and deficit spending. Together, these actions made his policy objective credible; they violated prevailing policy dogmas and introduced a policy regime change such as that ...
Interest rates and price level changes, 1952-69
Market conditions cause gasoline price hikes
State-dependent pricing under infrequent information: a unified framework
We characterize optimal state-dependent pricing rules under various forms of infrequent information. In all models, infrequent price changes arise from the existence of a lump-sum "menu cost." We entertain various alternatives for the source and nature of infrequent information. In two benchmark cases with continuously available information, optimal pricing rules are purely state-dependent. In contrast, in all environments with infrequent information, optimal pricing rules are both time- and state-dependent, characterized by "trigger strategies" that depend on the time elapsed since ...
An IS-LM analysis of the zero-bound problem
Policy options for stimulating real activity are limited once short-term interest rates have been driven to zero. Monetary policy makers face the difficult challenge of preventing or reversing declines in near-term inflation expectations while preserving confidence in the central bank's commitment to long-term price stability. Fiscal policy makers must commit to a credible plan for maintaining or raising near-term government purchases while minimizing increases in future marginal tax rates.
Real implications of the zero bound on nominal interest rates
If monetary policy succeeds in keeping average inflation very low, nominal interest rates may occasionally be constrained by the zero lower bound. The degree to which this constraint has real implications depends on the monetary policy feedback rule and the structure of price-setting. Policy rules that make the price level stationary lead to small real distortions from the zero bound. If policy imparts persistence into the inflation rate, the real implications of the zero bound are large in the presence of backward looking price-setting, and small if prices are set to maximize profits.
How should monetary policy respond to changes in the relative price of oil? considering supply and demand shocks
This paper examines optimal monetary policy in a New Keynesian model, where the relative price of oil is affected by exogenous supply shocks and a productivity-driven demand shock. When wages are flexible, stabilizing core inflation is optimal and the nominal rate rises (falls) in response to a demand (supply) shock. When both prices and wages are sticky, core inflation falls (rises) in response to the demand (supply) shock. Stabilizing CPI inflation generates small welfare losses only if the demand shock is the main driver of oil prices. Based on a VAR estimated using post-1986 data for the ...
Local price variation and labor supply behavior
In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: the wage and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most of theoretical and empirical work ignores prices other than wages when studying labor supply. The question we address in this paper is whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as has generally been assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and non-labor income on labor supply will typically differ by location. We show, in particular, the ...
Recent price developments