An Examination of Aggregate Price Uncertainty in Four Countries and SomeImplications for Real Output

Richard T. Froyen, Roger N. Waud

NBER Working Paper No. 1460 (Also Reprint No. r0948)
Issued in September 1984
NBER Program(s):Monetary Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth

This study constructs measures of aggregate price uncertainty for four industrialized countries (Canada, West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States) and attempts to assess the extent to which more rapid and more variable price changes appear to have contributed to increased aggregate price uncertainty. For this purpose we examine the relationship across countries and through time between the rate of inflation, inflation variability, and our measures of price uncertainty. In addition we use our measures of price uncertainty to examine the hypothesis, variously put forward by Marshall, Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Okun, that higher aggregate price uncertainty is likely tor esult in lower real output and higher unemployment. Our results suggest that the higher and more variable inflation of the 1970s did increase uncertainty about the aggregate price level in Canada, Great Britain and the United States, but the evidence for West Germany would not sustain such a conclusion. Finally,we did find evidence of a significant negative output effect of aggregate price uncertainty for Canada and the United Kingdom, but not for the United States or West Germany.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1460

Published: Froyen, Richard T. and Roger N. Waud. "An Examination of Aggregate Price Uncertainty in Four Countries and Some Implications for Real Output," International Economic Review, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1987, pp. 353-372. citation courtesy of

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