Several Phillips curves based on sticky information and sticky prices are estimated and compared using Bayesian VAR-GMM. This method derives expectations in each Phillips curve from a VAR and estimates the Phillips curve parameters and the VAR coefficients simultaneously. Quasi-marginal likelihood-based model comparison selects a dual stickiness Phillips curve in which, each period, some prices remain unchanged, consistent with micro evidence. Moreover, sticky information is a more plausible source of inflation inertia in the Phillips curve than other sources proposed in previous studies. Sticky information, sticky prices, and unchanged prices in each period are all needed to better describe inflation dynamics.
Should monetary policy offset the effects of labor supply shocks on inflation and the output gap? Canonical New Keynesian models answer yes. Motivated by weak labor force participation during the pandemic, we reexamine the question by introducing labor force entry and exit in an otherwise canonical model with sticky prices and wages. The entry decision generates an employment channel of monetary policy, by which a decline in employment raises wage growth. Consequently, a labor supply shock to the value of nonparticipation in the labor market induces a policy trade-off between stabilization of the employment gap and wage growth. For an adverse labor supply shock, optimal policy dampens the decline in employment to rein in wage growth, which entails a period of higher inflation and a positive output gap. A welfare analysis of policy rules shows that monetary policy should not lean against the employment gap.
Should monetary policy offset the effects of labor supply shocks on inflation and the output gap? Canonical New Keynesian models answer yes. Motivated by weak labor force participation during the pandemic, we reexamine the question by introducing labor force entry and exit in an otherwise canonical model with sticky prices and wages. The entry decision generates an employment channel of monetary policy, and a labor supply shock to the value of nonparticipation in the labor market induces a policy trade-off between stabilization of the employment gap and wage growth. For an adverse labor supply shock, optimal policy dampens the decline in employment to rein in wage growth, which entails a period of higher inflation and a positive output gap. A welfare analysis of policy rules shows that monetary policy should not lean against the employment gap.
Empirical studies have documented that the persistence of the gap between inflation and its trend declined after the Volcker disinflation. Previous research into the source of the decline has offered competing views while sidestepping the possibility of equilibrium indeterminacy. This paper examines the source by estimating a medium-scale DSGE model using a Bayesian method that allows for indeterminacy. The estimated model shows that the Fed’s change from a passive to an active policy response to the inflation gap or a decrease in firms’ probability of price change can fully account for the decline in inflation gap persistence by ruling out indeterminacy that induces persistent dynamics of the economy.
Recent studies indicate that, since 1980, the average markup and the profit share of income have increased, while the labor share and the investment share of spending have decreased. We examine the role of monetary policy in these changes as inflation has concurrently trended down. In a simple staggered price model with a non-CES aggregator of differentiated goods, a decline in trend inflation as measured since 1980 can account for a substantial portion of the changes. Moreover, introducing a rise in the productivity of “superstar firms” in the model can better explain not only the macroeconomic changes but also the micro evidence on the distribution of firms’ markups, including the flat median markup.
In staggered price models, a non-CES aggregator of differentiated goods generates empirically plausible short- and long-run trade-offs between output and inflation: lower trend inflation flattens the Phillips curve and decreases steady-state output by increasing markups. We show that the aggregator reduces both the steady-state welfare cost of higher trend inflation and the inflation-related weight in a model-based welfare function for higher trend inflation. Consequently, optimal trend inflation is moderately positive even without considering the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. Moreover, the welfare difference between 2 percent and 4 percent inflation targets is much smaller than in the CES aggregator case.
We propose a novel theory of intrinsic inflation persistence by introducing trend inflation and variable elasticity of demand in a model with staggered price and wage setting. Under nonzero trend inflation, the variable elasticity generates intrinsic persistence in inflation through a measure of price dispersion stemming from staggered price setting. It also introduces intrinsic persistence in wage inflation under staggered wage setting, which affects price inflation. With the theory we show that inflation exhibits a persistent, hump-shaped response to a monetary policy shock. We also show that a credible disinflation leads to a gradual decline in inflation and a fall in output, and lower trend inflation reduces inflation persistence, as observed around the time of the Volcker disinflation.
A large literature has established that the Fed’s change from a passive to an active policy response to inflation led to U.S. macroeconomic stability after the Great Inflation of the 1970s. This paper revisits the literature’s view by estimating a generalized New Keynesian model using a full-information Bayesian method that allows for equilibrium indeterminacy and adopts a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm. The model empirically outperforms canonical New Keynesian models that confirm the literature’s view. Our estimated model shows an active policy response to inflation even during the Great Inflation. More importantly, a more active policy response to inflation alone does not suffice for explaining the U.S. macroeconomic stability, unless it is accompanied by a change in either trend inflation or policy responses to the output gap and output growth. This extends the literature by emphasizing the importance of the changes in other aspects of monetary policy in addition to its response to inflation.
Conventional wisdom holds that a central bank should tighten monetary policy after a surprise decline in labor supply to offset the inflationary effects of the decline. However, this policy prescription comes from models of monetary policy that abstract from labor force participation. We examine the policy implications of worker entry into and exit from the labor force. We find that cyclical changes in labor force participation call for a less restrictive policy response to a decline in labor supply. The less restrictive policy response is appropriate because policy tightening reduces the labor force and thus raises wage growth. The optimal policy response dampens the reduction in the labor force and brings about a period of higher inflation.