Une nouvelle méthode d'estimation de l'écart de production et son application aux États-Unis, au Canada et à l'Allemagne
This study introduces a new method for identifying the output gap, based on the estimation of multivariate autoregression (VAR) models. This approach, which involves using restrictions to identify structural shocks that have only a transitory effect on output but that affect the trend inflation rate, is compared with the decomposition method proposed by Blanchard and Quah (1989). We also show some applications based on VAR model estimations for the Canadian, United States, and German economies. We find in particular that shocks having a transitory influence on output can explain most of the variance in inflation in these three countries. This suggests that the long-term neutrality hypothesis about the production of inflation-influencing shocks is a good approximation. We also find that only a small part of the output variance reflects changes in trend inflation. We go on to estimate simple inflation indicator models in order to assess the information that is contained in output gap estimations and used to explain inflationary pressures. The results suggest that the proposed method is a promising one.