Department of Economics
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Institutional Affiliation: Wake Forest University
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2019||The Nonpuzzling Behavior of Median Inflation|
with Laurence M. Ball: w25512
Economists are puzzled by the behavior of U.S. inflation since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, and many suggest that the Phillips curve relating inflation to unemployment has broken down. This paper argues that inflation behavior is easier to understand if we divide headline inflation into core and transitory components, and if core inflation is measured by the weighted median of industry inflation rates. This weighted median is less volatile than the traditional measure of core inflation, the inflation rate excluding food and energy prices, because it filters out large price changes in all industries. We illustrate the usefulness of the weighted median with a case study of inflation in 2017 and early 2018. We also show that a Phillips curve relating the weighted median to unemployment a...
|November 2014||A Phillips Curve with Anchored Expectations and Short-Term Unemployment|
with Laurence Ball: w20715
This paper examines the recent behavior of core inflation in the United States. We specify a simple Phillips curve based on the assumptions that inflation expectations are fully anchored at the Federal Reserve’s target, and that labor-market slack is captured by the level of short-term unemployment. This equation explains inflation behavior since 2000, including the failure of high total unemployment since 2008 to reduce inflation greatly. The fit of our equation is especially good when we measure core inflation with the Cleveland Fed’s series on weighted median inflation. We also propose a more general Phillips curve in which core inflation depends on short-term unemployment and on expected inflation as measured by the Survey of Professional Forecasters. This specification fits U.S. infla...
Published: Laurence Ball & Sandeep Mazumder, 2015. "A Phillips Curve with Anchored Expectations and Short-Term Unemployment," IMF Working Papers, vol 15(39).
|May 2011||Inflation Dynamics and the Great Recession|
with Laurence M. Ball: w17044
This paper examines inflation dynamics in the United States since 1960, with a particular focus on the Great Recession. A puzzle emerges when Phillips curves estimated over 1960-2007 are used to predict inflation over 2008-2010: inflation should have fallen by more than it did. We resolve this puzzle with two modifications of the Phillips curve, both suggested by theories of costly price adjustment: we measure core inflation with the median CPI inflation rate, and we allow the slope of the Phillips curve to change with the level and variance of inflation. We then examine the hypothesis of anchored inflation expectations. We find that expectations have been fully "shock-anchored" since the 1980s, while "level anchoring" has been gradual and partial, but significant. It is not clear whether...
Published: Laurence Ball & Sandeep Mazumder, 2011. "Inflation Dynamics and the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 337-405. citation courtesy of