On Quality Bias and Inflation Targets

11 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2009 Last revised: 19 Nov 2009

See all articles by Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Martín Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

A policy issue central banks are confronted with is whether inflation targets should be adjusted to account for the systematic upward bias in measured inflation due to quality improvements in consumption goods. We show that in the context of a Ramsey equilibrium the answer to this question depends on what prices are assumed to be sticky. If nonquality-adjusted prices are assumed to be sticky, then the Ramsey plan predicts that the inflation target should not be corrected. If, on the other hand, quality-adjusted (or hedonic) prices are assumed to be sticky, then the Ramsey plan calls for raising the inflation target by the magnitude of the bias.

Suggested Citation

Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie and Uribe, Martin, On Quality Bias and Inflation Targets (November 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15505, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1505829

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Martin Uribe

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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