The existence of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) has often been used to justify a positive inflation target. It is traditionally assumed that positive inflation could “grease the wheels” of the labour market by putting downward pressure on real wages, easing labour market adjustments during a recession.
We add downward nominal wage rigidity to a standard New Keynesian model with sticky prices and wages, where the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is allowed to bind. We find that wage rigidity not only reduces the frequency of zero bound episodes but also mitigates the severity of corresponding recessions.
The article examines the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada and its implications for monetary policy. The authors ask whether its existence is a sufficient argument for a higher inflation target if concerns about the effective lower bound are adequately addressed.
Inflation-targeting frameworks have remained relatively stable over the past few years despite significant challenges, including prolonged low inflation, a large negative commodity price shock and rising financial stability concerns in some economies. The tools used by central banks have, however, evolved substantially. This article provides a survey of the developments in the inflation-targeting frameworks of 10 central banks in advanced economies that correspond to the three research areas of the Bank of Canada’s 2016 renewal: the level of the inflation target, the measurement of core inflation and financial stability considerations in the formulation of monetary policy.
Inflation expectations are a key determinant of actual and future inflation and thus matter for the conduct of monetary policy. We study how firms form their inflation expectations using quarterly firm-level data from the Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey, spanning the 2001 to 2015 period.
We analyze the interaction between committed monetary policy and discretionary fiscal policy in a model with public debt, endogenous government expenditures, distortive taxation and nominal rigidities.
Bank of Canada research done prior to the most recent renewal of the inflation-control agreement in 2011 concluded that the benefits associated with a target below 2 per cent were insufficient to justify the increased risk of being constrained by the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates.
Inflation targeting (IT) had originally been introduced as a device to bring inflation down and stabilize it at low levels. Given the current environment of persistently weak inflation in many advanced economies, IT central banks must now bring inflation up to target.
The days when secrecy and opacity were the bywords of central banking are gone. The advent of inflation targeting in the early 1990s acted as the catalyst for enhanced transparency and communications in the conduct of monetary policy.
The consumer price index (CPI) is the most commonly used measure to track changes in the overall level of prices. Since it departs from a true cost-of-living index, the CPI is subject to four types of measurement bias—commodity substitution, outlet substitution, new goods and quality adjustment. The author updates previous Bank of Canada estimates of measurement bias in the Canadian CPI by examining these four sources of potential bias. He finds the total measurement bias over the 2005–11 period to be about 0.5 percentage point per year, consistent with the Bank’s earlier findings. Slightly more than half of this bias is caused by the fixed nature of the CPI basket of goods and services.