NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

February 2018The Optimal Inflation Target and the Natural Rate of Interest
with Philippe Andrade, Jordi GalĂ­, Julien Matheron: w24328
We study how changes in the value of the steady-state real interest rate affect the optimal inflation target, both in the U.S. and the euro area, using an estimated New Keynesian DSGE model that incorporates the zero (or effective) lower bound on the nominal interest rate. We find that this relation is downward sloping, but its slope is not necessarily one-for-one: increases in the optimal inflation rate are generally lower than declines in the steady-state real interest rate. Our approach allows us not only to assess the uncertainty surrounding the optimal inflation target, but also to determine the latter while taking into account the parameter uncertainty facing the policy maker, including uncertainty with regard to the determinants of the steady-state real interest rate. We find that i...
May 2014Small and Large Price Changes and the Propagation of Monetary Shocks
with Fernando Alvarez, Francesco Lippi: w20155
We document the presence of both small and large price changes in individual price records from the CPI in France and the US. After correcting for measurement error and cross-section heterogeneity, the size-distribution of price changes has a positive excess kurtosis. We propose an analytical menu cost model that encompasses several classic models, as Taylor (1980), Calvo (1983), Reis (2006), Golosov and Lucas (2007) and accounts for observed cross-sectional patterns. We show that the ratio of kurtosis to the frequency of price changes is a sufficient statistics for the real effects of monetary policy in a large class of models.
 
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