Thomas Carter is a Senior Economist in the Canadian Economic Analysis (CEA) Department. His research interests include monetary and financial economics. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.
Conventional models imply that central banks aiming to raise inflation should lower nominal rates and thus stimulate aggregate demand. However, several economists have recently challenged this conventional wisdom in favour of an alternative “neo-Fisherian’’ view under which higher nominal rates might in fact lead to higher inflation.
The long-run relation between growth and inflation has not yet been studied in the context of nominal price and wage rigidities, despite the fact that these rigidities now figure prominently in workhorse macroeconomic models.
The authors use microdata from the 1999 and 2005 Surveys of Financial Security to identify changes in household debt, and discuss their potential implications for monetary policy and financial stability. They document an increase in the debt-income ratio, which rose from 0.75 to 0.95, on average.
In 2006, the Bank initiated a research program exploring two alternatives to the current inflation-targeting framework: (i) lowering the inflation target and (ii) shifting to a price-level target. This article discusses progress to date, places the Bank's findings in the context of a broader literature, and identifies avenues for future research.