ECON 104 HOMEWORK #11 (100 points total)

ECON 104 HOMEWORK #11 (100 points total)
1. In the late 1960s, Milton Friedman and Edmund Phelps argued that there was not a
structural relationship between inflation and unemployment rates. In particular, the trade
off could only exist in the short -run.
a) (10 points) The tradeoff between unemployment and inflation was much
discussed throughout the 1960s as there appeared to be a clear tradeoff
between unemployment and inflation. In fact, we traced out the Phillips curve
beginning in the early 1960s and continuing through the end of the decade. In
the space below, recreate the Phillips curve that we constructed in the lectures,
being sure to label diagram completely. At minimum, you should have
unemployment / inflation combinations for 1961, 1962, 1964, 1966, and 1969.
Connect the dots and we have the tradeoff between unemployment and inflation
during the 1960s, aka, the Phillips curve.
b) (10 points) Now explain why the Phillips curve that you constructed can only be a
short-run phenomenon at best. In particular, explain exactly why, as we went
through the decade of the 1960s, we continuously move up and to the northwest
along the Phillips curve.... from relatively high rates of unemployment and low
inflation to relatively low rates of unemployment and high rates of inflation. In
your answer, make sure discuss the short run aspect of this curve and why, in
the long-run, the Phillips curve is vertical (hint: expected inflation, unexpected
inflation, actual real wages, and expected real wages should be a big part of your
explanation).
2. In this question, we are going dig deeper into the Taylor Rule and it variants
(modifications). You will need the following links to answer the following questions.
Note, each link takes you to a page where right above the graph on left, there is a
"download data in graph" tab - click on it and that will give you access to the data you
need.
NAIRU

GDP Growth

PGE

Inflation PCE core

Unemployment Rate

Inflation PCE

Effective Federal Funds Rate
As Taylor assumed, we assume the equilibrium real rate of interest, r* = 2% and the
optimal inflation rate, the target inflation rate is also equal to 2%.

a) (10 points) Using the 'standard' Taylor rule with Inflation PCE (not the core), and
using end of 2011 data (2011-10-01) what is the federal funds rate implied by the
'standard' Taylor Rule? According to the actual federal funds rate (use the
Effective Federal Funds Rate), is the Fed being hawkish or dovish? Explain.
b) (10 points) Repeat part a) using the modified version of the Taylor using the
unemployment gap instead of the GDP gap just like we did in the lectures. Also,
use the PCE core rate of inflation instead of overall inflation like you used above the Fed arguably cares more about core inflation than overall inflation. According
to the actual federal funds rate (use the Effective Federal Funds Rate), is the Fed
being hawkish or dovish? Which "Taylor" rule explains Fed behavior better, the
original or the modified Taylor Rule? Explain.
c) (10 points) Let's go back in time to the fourth quarter of 1965 (1965-10-01) when
the "We are all Keynesians" was featured in Time magazine. We argued that this was
heyday of Keynesian economics so we would expect to get dovish results. Using the
original Taylor Rule that you used in part a) and the modified Taylor Rule that you used in
part b), prove that the Fed was dovish according to both versions of the Taylor Rule.

d) (10 points) We now go back to the Volcker period where he was known as being
a hawk on inflation. Using the data from the second quarter of 1982 (1982-04-01),
prove that the Volcker Fed was hawkish according to both versions of the Taylor Rule

True/ False (40 points total - 2 points each)
1) According to the "We are all Keynesians Now" article, the labor secretary at that time
wanted the unemployment rate to fall down to 3%.
2) The misery index in 1980 exceeded 25.
3) The mid to late 1970s was the 'heyday' of Keynesian economics in the US economy.
4) Keynes believed that it was the responsibility of the government to use its powers to
increase production, incomes and jobs.
5) Consistent with his thought on spending heavily, Keynes was known as an excellent
tipper.
6) The steeper the SRAS curve, the steeper the short-run Phillips curve.
7) If the long-run aggregate supply curve is vertical so is the long-run Phillips curve.
8) Friedman and Phelps agreed that there is a trade-off between unemployment and
inflation, but only in the long run.
9) If actual inflation is lower than expected inflation, then the actual real wage is higher than
the expected real wage. This being the case, firms will lay off workers.


10) According to the Taylor Rule described in the lectures, if the Fed is getting an A+, then
the federal funds rate should be set at 5%
11) According to the Taylor principle, if actual inflation rises by 1% over target inflation, then
the Fed should raise the federal funds rate by 2% to make sure that the real federal
funds rate rises which is referred to as "leaning against the wind.
12) If the actual federal funds rate is higher than the funds rates implied by the Taylor rule,
then we say that the central bank is hawkish.
13) If actual inflation rises one percent above target and the central bank raises the actual
funds rate by one percent then according to the Taylor rule, the central bank is being
hawkish.
14) According to the Taylor rule, the Greenspan Fed was hawkish during the new economy
years.
15) According to the Taylor rule, the Greenspan Fed was hawkish during the job-less
recovery as well as the job-loss recovery.
16) One way to explain the apparent tradeoff between inflation and unemployment during
the 1960s, expected inflation was consistently higher than the actual inflation implying
that firms would be willing to higher more workers given this difference between
expected and actual inflation. The result therefore would be higher inflation and lower
unemployment, consistent with the facts during the 1960s.
17) We argued that the modified version of the Taylor rule during the jobless recovery
following the 1990 - 1991 recession explained Greenspan and the Fed's behavior much
better than the original Taylor Rule.
18) According to the Phillips curve analysis, if expected inflation is equal to actual inflation
then we are at NAIRU. However, if actual inflation is higher than expected, then the
actual unemployment rate will be higher than that associated with NAIRU.
19) If firms and workers had perfect foresight as to inflation so that actual = expected
inflation at all times, then the Phillips curve would be vertical and thus, there would be no
trade between unemployment and inflation, even in the short run.
20) We argued that a federal funds rate target of 4% is consistent with the stance of
monetary policy being neutral as in neither tight nor loose.

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    ECON 104 HOMEWORK #11 Part 1

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