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Estimating Asymmetric Output Cost of Lowering Inflation for Australia

Hyeon-seung Huh

Southern Economic Journal, 2002, vol. 68, issue 3, 600-616

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to estimate the output cost associated with lowering inflation for Australia. The paper is particularly motivated by a strand of theoretical and empirical evidence in the literature suggesting nonlinearity in the output-inflation relationship, namely, a nonlinear Phillips curve. To accommodate this potentially important departure from linearity, a vector autoregression (VAR) model of output, inflation, and the terms of trade is augmented with logistic smooth transition autoregression specifications. My empirical results indicate that the model captures the nonlinear features present in the data well. Based on this nonlinear approximation, the output costs for reducing inflation are found to vary, depending critically on the state of the economy, the size of intended inflation change, and whether policymakers seek to disinflate or prevent inflation from rising. This implies that inferences based on the conventional linear Phillips curve may provide misleading signals about the cost of lowering inflation and thus the appropriate policy stance.

Date: 2002
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