Menu Costs, Relative Prices, and Inflation: Evidence for Canada
Bank of Canada Working Paper 97-14
45 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 1998
Date Written: June 1997
The menu-cost models of price adjustment developed by Ball and Mankiw (1994; 1995) predict that short-run movements in inflation should be positively related to the skewness and the variance of the distribution of disaggregated relative-price shocks in each period. We test these predictions on Canadian data using the distribution of changes in disaggregated producer prices to measure the skewness and standard deviation of relative-price shocks. We find the Canadian data, both in the context of partial correlations and standard price Phillips curve equations, are highly supportive of the predictions that arise from the menu-cost models. Indeed, we find that the positive relationship between inflation and the skewness of the distribution of relative-price shocks is one of the most robust features of the Canadian Phillips curve and significantly improves our ability to explain inflation dynamics.
JEL Classification: E31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation