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A Sticky Information Phillips Curve for South Africa

24 October 2013
Publication Type: Working Paper
Economic Theme: Public Finance
JEL Code: E3, E31, E52

Mankiw and Reis (2002) propose the Sticky Information Phillips Curve as an alternative to the standard New Keynesian Phillips Curve, to address empirical shortcomings in the latter. In this paper, a Sticky Information Phillips curve for South Africa is estimated, which requires data on expectations of current period variables conditional on sequences of earlier period information sets. In the literature the choice of proxies for the inflation expectations and output gap measures are usually not well motivated. In this paper, we test the sensitivity of model fit and parameter estimates to a variety of proxies. We find that parameter estimates for output gap proxies based either on a simple Hodrik-Prescott filter application or on a Kalman filter estimation of an aggregate production function are significant and reasonable, whereas methods employing direct calculation of marginal costs do not yield acceptable results. Estimates of information updating probability range between 0.69 and 0.81. This is somewhat higher than suggested by alternative methods using micro-evidence (0.65 – 0.70 (Reid, 2012)). Lastly, we find that neither parameter estimates nor model diagnostics are sensitive to the choice of expectation proxy, whether it be constructed from surveyed expectations or the ad hoc VAR based forecasting methods.

Series title: Working paper 381
1 October 2013
Journal: South African Journal of Economics
10 October 2014
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