OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Insights from OECD Phillips curve equations on recent inflation outcomes

A statistically significant relationship between the unemployment gap and inflation can be found for a clear majority of OECD countries, but the magnitude of the effect is typically weak. A corollary is that the effect of labour market slack on inflation can often be dominated by other shocks, including imported inflation. The current Secretariat Phillips curve specification assumes inflation expectations are anchored at the central bank’s target, although some experimentation suggests that alternative proxies for expectations sometimes work better and there is some evidence that persistent under-shooting of inflation has led to some de-anchoring of expectations from the target, especially in the euro area. For most OECD countries, a measure of the global output gap is both statistically significant and strongly preferred to a domestic gap measure in explaining the wedge between headline and core inflation, although domestic gaps are strongly preferred in explaining core inflation. Various forms of non-linearity in the Phillips curve provide possible explanations for recent weak inflation outcomes, but statistical testing provides only limited support for such explanations.


Keywords: inflation expectations, anchored expectations, global output gap, Phillips curve
JEL: C22: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models; Single Variables / Single Equation Models; Single Variables: Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; J64: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search; E31: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles / Price Level; Inflation; Deflation; E24: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
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