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Essays on Inflation Volatility

BANERJEE, SHESADRI (2013) Essays on Inflation Volatility. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Inflation volatility is one of the key constituents of inflation dynamics and has not received much attention in the literature. The study of inflation volatility is important because it has adverse economic consequences. This thesis aims to study the determinants of inflation volatility for advanced and developing countries. At the outset, I explore the empirical regularities of inflation volatility based on monthly and quarterly CPI inflation data (1968 to 2011) using time and frequency domain analysis. I establish a stylised fact that inflation is significantly more volatile in developing countries than advanced countries. This raises a research question why it is so. Using a New Keynesian paradigm, an answer to this research question is sought from two angles. First, a policy rule for interest rate (known as Taylor rule) is estimated over a balanced panel of advanced and developing countries to examine the difference in policy activism between these two groups of countries. This follows from the New Keynesian argument that an active monetary policy is a necessary condition for stable dynamics of inflation. Using the Generalized Method of Moments and the Arellano and Bover (1995) method of dynamic panel estimation, I find that monetary policy is active in advanced countries but passive in developing economies. This striking difference in the policy regimes between these two groups can be one of the reasons for the difference in inflation volatility. Second, motivated by the asymmetry in consumption basket of CPI between advanced and developing economies, a two-sector New Keynesian model with food and non-food is developed. The model features: i) composite consumption and labour index, ii) differential Calvo-type price adjustment of firms across sectors, and iii) Taylor type monetary policy rule. Characterising the distinct structures of advanced and developing economies by two different parameterizations, the model calibration shows that demand disturbance generated by the preference shock is one of the fundamental forces for inflation volatility. In addition, my simulation analysis demonstrates that other structural parameters such as the frequency of price adjustment, distribution of labour and the elasticity of labour substitution, and the policy parameter of inflation in the Taylor rule are also critical factors explaining the greater volatility of inflation in developing economies.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Inflation volatility, Monetary Policy Activism and New Keynesian Phillips Curve
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Jun 2013 11:43

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