Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2018:16: Does Inflation Targeting Reduce the Dispersion of Price Setters’ Inflation Expectations?

Charlotte Paulie ()
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Charlotte Paulie: Department of Economics, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Using detailed Swedish micro data on prices and costs, this paper documents a decrease in the dispersion of changes in prices and markups following the introduction of an official inflation target of 2 percent. Using a structural model to decompose the change in the price-change distribution by potential explanatory factors, about 63 percent of the decrease in the price-change dispersion can be attributed to a decrease in the cross-sectional variance of inflation expectations. The lower dispersion of inflation expectations results in a lower markup dispersion and a welfare gain equivalent to a 0.79 percent increase in consumption.

Keywords: inflation targeting; price setting; misallocation; welfare

JEL-codes: D84; E52; L11

57 pages, January 7, 2019

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