Macroeconomic theory: a textbook on macroeconomic knowledge by Unknown Author

By Unknown Author

A Textbook on Macroeconomic wisdom and research

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In this forward solution the 7 See C. -J. Laffont and A. Monfort, Rational expectations in dynamic linear models, Econometrica 50 (1982) 409–425. 1 INFLATION AS A PROCESS 1001 expected value of the price level is a weighted average of the expected future values of exogenous costs; the weights follow a geometrical progression, decreasing to zero the further into the future one goes. From a purely formal viewpoint we note that the system of Equations (16) would also admit the following “backward solution” if it were meaningful: ∞ pt = −(1 − β) β −τ wt −τ .

Each time an increase is decided upon, new prices or new wage rates are adopted for a future period, as a function of what costs and prices are expected to be during the period. But once the process is started, it quickly becomes impossible to make the distinction, for each increase, between what is the consequence of former increases and what is due to expected future increases. We shall indeed see that trying to make such a distinction can lead to insuperable difficulties. In particular specific conventions will be required for defining “autonomous” factors affecting expectations.

3). 8). 9). 1. Costs, prices and wages: the spiral The main aspects of the way in which prices are actually determined are well known. We talked about them in the previous chapter when we had to examine 985 986 THE DYNAMICS OF INFLATION AND EMPLOYMENT Ch. 8 the reasons why price flexibility, which assumes that the law of supply and demand functions fast and fully, does not hold in the short run. We must take these aspects up again whenever we are describing the inflationary process. 1. Fresh food products are almost the only case where prices are fixed from day to day, in order for current demand to absorb the amounts supplied.

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