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Cecchetti, Stephen G. (Stephen Giovanni)

Overview
Works: 95 works in 490 publications in 2 languages and 3,357 library holdings
Genres: History  Rules  Textbooks 
Classifications: HB1, 332
Publication Timeline
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Publications about Stephen G Cecchetti
Publications by Stephen G Cecchetti
Most widely held works by Stephen G Cecchetti
Money, banking, and financial markets by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
42 editions published between 2005 and 2015 in 3 languages and held by 401 libraries worldwide
By focusing on the big picture via core principles, this title teaches students the rationale for financial rules and institutional structure. It focuses on the basic functions served by the financial system while deemphasizing its structure and rules. It offers a student-friendly approach to the subject
Asset prices and central bank policy by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
12 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 171 libraries worldwide
How should central banks view movements in equity, housing and foreign exchange markets? Can policy-makers improve economic performance by paying attention to asset prices, as well as inflation and output forecasts? Is it possible to identify asset price misalignments and bubbles? Is it possible to use non-conventional policies to address asset price misalignments? Should asset prices be included directly in measures of inflation? Do asset prices contain information about future consumer price inflation? The second title in the ICMB/CEPR series of Geneva Reports on the World Economy addresses these questions and reaches the following conclusions: 1. A central bank concerned with stabilizing inflation can achieve superior performance by adjusting its policy instruments in response to asset prices as well as inflation forecasts and the output gap. The reaction to asset prices will, however, depend on why they have changed: appropriate responses to increases in productivity growth are very different from responses to misalignments or bubbles. 2. Asset price misalignments may be difficult to measure, but this is no reason to ignore them. 3. Most non-conventional policies, such as adjusting margin requirements, are unlikely to succeed in reducing asset price volatility. 4. Inflation measures should take better account of changes in housing prices, but stock price movements are better left out of inflation indices. 5. Asset prices have a strong effect on future inflation, although the impact differs across countries
Price level convergence among United States cities : lessons for the European Central Bank by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
18 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 112 libraries worldwide
We study the dynamics of price indices for major U.S. cities using panel econometric methods and find that relative price levels among cities mean revert at an exceptionally slow rate. In a panel of 19 cities from 1918 to 1995, we estimate the half-life of convergence to be approximately nine years. These estimates provide an upper bound on speed of convergence that participants in European Monetary Union are likely to experience. The surprisingly slow rate of convergence can be explained by a combination of the presence of transportation costs, differential speeds of adjustment to small and large shocks, and the inclusion of non-traded good prices in the overall price index
Asset pricing with distorted beliefs : are equity returns too good to be true? by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
12 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in English and held by 93 libraries worldwide
We study a Lucas asset pricing model that is standard in all respects representative agent's subjective beliefs about endowment growth are distorted. Using constant-relative-risk-aversion (CRRA) utility a CRRA coefficient below ten that exhibit, on average, excessive pessimism over expansions and excessive optimism over contractions, our model is able to match the first and second moments of the equity premium and risk-free rate, as well as the persistence and predictability of excess returns found in the data
Measuring core inflation by Michael F Bryan( Book )
9 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 90 libraries worldwide
In this paper, we investigate the use of limited-information estimators as measures of core inflation. Employing a model of asymmetric supply disturbances, with costly price adjustment, we show how the observed skewness in the cross-sectional distribution of inflation can cause substantial noise in the aggregate price index at high frequencies. The model suggests that limited-influence estimators, such as the median of the cross-sectional distribution of inflation, will provide superior short-run measures of core inflation. We document that our estimates of inflation have a higher correlation with past money growth and deliver improved forecasts of future inflation relative to the CPI. Moreover, unlike the CPI, the limited-influence estimators do not forecast future money growth, suggesting that monetary policy has often accommodated supply shocks that we measure as the difference between core inflation and the CPI. Among the three limited-influence estimators we consider - the CP1 excluding food and energy, the IS-percent trimmed mean, and the median - we find that the median has the strongest relationship with past money growth and provides the most accurate forecast of future inflation. Using the median and several other variables including nominal interest rates and M2, our best forecast is that in the absence of monetary accommodation of any future aggregate supply shocks, inflation will average roughly 3 percent per year over the next five years
Legal structure, financial structure, and the monetary policy transmission mechanism by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
10 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 83 libraries worldwide
Among the many challenges facing the new Eurosystem is the possibility that the regions of the euro area will respond differently to interest rate changes. In this essay, I provide evidence that differences in financial structure are the proximate cause for these national asymmetries in the monetary policy transmission mechanism, and that these differences in financial structure are a result of differences in legal structure. My conclusion is that unless legal structures are harmonized across Europe, the financial structures and monetary transmission mechanisms of the European union countries will remain diverse
Efficient inflation estimation by Michael F Bryan( Book )
11 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
This paper investigates the use of trimmed means as high-frequency estimators of" inflation. The known characteristics of price change distributions, specifically the observation" that they generally exhibit high levels of kurtosis, imply that simple averages of price data are" unlikely to produce efficient estimates of inflation. Trimmed means produce superior estimates" of core inflation, ' which we define as a long-run centered moving average of CPI and PPI" inflation. We find that trimming 9% from each tail of the CPI price-change distribution from the tails of the PPI price-change distribution, yields an efficient estimator of core inflation" for these two series, although lesser trims also produce substantial efficiency gains. Historically the optimal trimmed estimators are found to be nearly 23% more efficient (in terms of root-mean-square error) than the standard mean CPI Moreover, the efficient estimators are robust to sample period and to the definition of the" presumed underlying long-run trend in inflation
Asset prices in the measurement of inflation by Michael F Bryan( Book )
14 editions published between 2001 and 2002 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
"The debate over including asset prices in the construction of an inflation statistic has attracted renewed attention in recent years. Virtually all of this (and earlier) work on incorporating asset prices into an aggregate price statistic has been motivated by a presumed, but unidentified transmission mechanism through which asset prices are leading indicators of inflation at the retail level. In this paper, we take an alternative, longer-term perspective on the issue and argue that the exclusion of asset prices introduces an 'excluded goods bias' in the computation of the inflation statistic that is of interest to the monetary authority. We implement this idea using a relatively modern statistical technique, a dynamic factor index. This statistical algorithm allows us to see through the excessively 'noisy' asset price data that have frustrated earlier researchers who have attempted to integrate these prices into an aggregate measure. We find that the failure to include asset prices in the aggregate price statistic has introduced a downward bias in the U.S. Consumer Price Index on the order of magnitude of roughly 1/4 percentage point annually. Of the three broad assets categories considered here -- equities, bonds, and houses -- we find that the failure to include housing prices resulted in the largest potential measurement error. This conclusion is also supported by a cursory look at some cross-country evidence"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Central bank policy rules : conceptual issues and practical considerations by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
9 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
The design of rules for central bank policy has been a subject of increasing interest to many monetary economists. The purpose of this essay is first to present an analytical structure in which a policymaker is presumed to formulate a rule based on the solution to an optimal control problem, and then to examine a number of issues that are germane to the current debate on the nature of such rules. These issues include the implication for policymaking of the slope of the output-inflation variability frontier, the importance of various types of uncertainty, the consequences of a zero nominal interest rate floor, and the possible reasons for interest rate smoothing. Although this essay is intended to raise, rather than resolve, key questions concerning policy rules, it does offer fairly compelling evidence on one point. This concerns the potential consequences of the move by many central banks toward some form of price-level or inflation targeting. In adopting this approach, central banks are implicitly changing the relative importance of output and inflation variability in their objective function. The robustness of the policy rule, however, may depend on the shape of the output-inflation variability trade-off. The data indicate that this trade-off is extremely steep: small decreases in inflation variability are associated with very large increases in output variability. This finding suggests that pure inflation targeting may have very undesirable side effects
Inflation indicators and inflation policy by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
11 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
In recent years, central bankers throughout the world have advocated that monetary policy shift toward inflation targeting. Recent actions in the U.S. serve to highlight the desire of the Federal Reserve to keep inflation both low and stable, while downplaying the likely output and employment consequences. But control of inflation requires both that one be able to forecast the future path of the price level and that one have estimates of what impact policy changes have on that path. Unfortunately, inflation is very difficult to forecast at even very near horizons. This is true because the relationship of candidate inflation indicators to inflation is neither very strong nor very stable. Beyond this, the relationship between monetary policy instruments, such as the Federal Funds Rate, and inflation also varies substantially over time and cannot be estimated precisely. Construction of policy rules can take these difficulties into account. Several rules are examined, and they have the following interesting properties. First, since prices take time to respond to all types of impulses, the object of price stability implies raising the Federal Funds Rate immediately following a shock, rather than waiting for prices to rise before acting. Finally, comparison of the results of price level targeting with nominal income targeting suggests that the difficulties inherent in forecasting and controlling the former provide an argument for focusing on the latter
Measuring short-run inflation for central bankers by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
10 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 81 libraries worldwide
As central bankers intensify their focus on inflation as the primary goal of monetary policy, it becomes increasingly important to have accurate and reliable measures of changes in the aggregate price level. Measuring inflation is surprisingly difficult, involving two types of problems. Commonly used indices, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), contain both transitory noise and bias. Noise causes short-run changes in measured inflation to inaccurately reflect movements in long-run trends, while bias leads the long-run average change in the CPI to be too high. In this paper I propose methods of reducing both the noise and the bias in the CPI. Noise reduction is achieved by average monthly inflation in measures called trimmed means' over longer horizons. Trimmed means are statistics similar to the median that are calculated by ignoring the CPI components with extreme high and low changes each month, and averaging the rest. I find that using three month averages halves the noise, while removing the highest and lowest ten percent of the cross-sectional distribution of inflation reduces the monthly variation in inflation by one-fifth
Inflation and the distribution of price changes by Michael F Bryan( Book )
10 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 80 libraries worldwide
Its higher order moments, and in particular, its third moment the skewness of the price change distribution. Evidence on correlations between inflation and its moments goesback over thirty years, and was first used to reject the independence of relative price changes and inflation that is assumed in neo- classical models. More recently, New Keynesian macroeconomists have shown that the strong positive correlation between inflation and the skewness of the price change distribution is consistent with menu-cost models of price setting behavior. This is a fairly controversial result, prompting other researchers to demonstrate that the same correlation can be found in a multi- sector, flexible-price (real business cycle) model. We examine the small-sample properties of the main empirical finding on which this work is based: the positive correlation between the sample mean and sample skewness of price change distributions. Our results show that this particular statistic suffers from a large positive small-sample bias, and demonstrate that the entirety of the observed correlation can be explained by this bias. To the extent that we find any relationship at all, it is that the correlation is negative. In other words, we establish that one of the most accepted stylized facts in the literature on aggregate price behavior, that inflation and the skewness of the price change distribution are positively linked, need not be a fact at all
The seasonality of consumer prices by Michael F Bryan( Book )
8 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 79 libraries worldwide
In this paper, we reevaluate the evidence of seasonality in prices which we find to be substantially greater than previous research has indicated. That is, seasonal price movements have become more prominent in the relatively stable inflation environment that has prevailed since 1982. One main conclusion is drawn from this analysis: The amount of seasonality in prices differs greatly by item, making it difficult to generalize about seasonal price movements. A casual reading fails to reveal an easily identifiable origin of the seasonal variation of prices. That is, seasonality in consumer prices is predominantly idiosyncratic in nature, a result that contrasts with studies demonstrating a common seasonal cycle in real economic variables. This finding has an important practical implication: Given the selective, disaggregated approach taken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to adjust data seasonally, the existence of idiosyncratic seasonality increases the likelihood of allowing noise in the aggregate CPI at a seasonal frequency. This argues in favor of seasonally adjusting the index after aggregation
Understanding the Great Depression : lessons for current policy by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
10 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 77 libraries worldwide
Over the four years beginning in the summer of 1929, financial markets, labor markets and goods markets all virtually ceased to function. Throughout this, the government policymaking apparatus seemed helpless. Since the end of the Great Depression, macroeconomists have labored diligently in an effort to understand the circumstances that led to the wholesale collapse of the economy. What lessons can we draw from our study of these events? In this essay, I argue that the Federal Reserve played a key role in nearly every policy failure during this period, and so the major lessons learned from the Great Depression concern the function of the central bank and the financial system. In my view, there is now a broad consensus supporting three conclusions. First, the collapse of the finance system could have been stopped if the central bank had properly understood its function as the lender of last resort. Second, deflation played an extremely important role deepening the Depression. And third, the gold standard, as a method for supporting a fixed exchange rate system, was disastrous
International cycles by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
8 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 77 libraries worldwide
We study twenty years of monthly production data for 11 manufacturing industries in 19 countries. Using the fact that in some countries production virtually shuts down for one summer month, together with the differences in the timing of aggregate cyclical fluctuations, we are able to learn about the cost structure of different industries. Our primary finding is that during a boom year summer shut-downs are shorter. Rather than increasing production further during the rest of the year, producers reallocate activity from high output months to low output months. We also find that there are important seasonal/cyclical interactions common to all industries within a given country, and that these countries effects are larger than the pure industry effects. The correlation of the cross-country differences with measures of taxation and labor market structure suggests the possibility that differences in the willingness (and ability) to substitute labor intertemporally are responsible for the variation
Do firms smooth the seasonal in production in a boom? : theory and evidence by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
10 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 77 libraries worldwide
Using disaggregated production data we show that the size of seasonal cycles changes significantly over the course of the business cycle. In particular, during periods of high economy-wide activity, some industries smooth seasonal fluctuations while others exaggerate them. We interpret this finding using a simple analytical model that describes the conditions under which seasonal and cyclical fluctuations can be separated. Our model implies that seasonal fluctuations can safely be disentangled from cyclical fluctuations only when the marginal cost of production is linear, and the variation in demand and cost satisfy certain (restrictive) conditions. The model also suggests that inventory movements can be used to isolate the role of demand shifts in generating any interaction between seasonal cycles and business cycles. Thus, the empirical analysis involves studying the variation in seasonally unadjusted patterns of production and inventory accumulation over different phases of the business cycle. Our finding that seasonals shrink during booms and that firms carry more inventories into high sales seasons during a boom leads us to conclude that for several industries, marginal cost slopes up at an increasing rate. Conversely, in a couple of industries we find that seasonal swings in production are exaggerated during booms and that inventories are drawn down prior to high sales seasons, suggesting that marginal costs curves flatten as production increases. Overall, we find considerable evidence that there are non-linear interactions between business cycles and seasonal cycles
The new economy and the challenges for macroeconomic policy by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 75 libraries worldwide
The accelerated introduction of information and communications technology into the economy has created numerous challenges for policymakers. This paper describes this New Economy and then proceeds to examine difficulties created for policymakers. The increased flexibility of the new economy argues against trying to use fiscal policy for stabilization and creates both immediate and long-term difficulties for monetary policy. Immediate difficulties concern the problems associated with estimating potential output when the productivity trend is shifting. During periods of transition, it is extremely difficult to distinguish permanent from transitory shifts in output growth, and adjust policy correctly. In the long-term, central banks must face the prospect of a significant decline in the demand for their liabilities, and a resulting loss of their primary interest rate policy instrument. The disappearance of the demand for central bank money for interbank settlement seems very unlikely, and so this concern seems unwarranted
Does inflation targeting increase output volatility? : an international comparison of policymakers' preferences and outcomes by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
11 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and Spanish and held by 74 libraries worldwide
Aggregate shocks that move output and inflation in opposite directions create a tradeoff between output and inflation variability, forcing central bankers to make a choice. Differences in the degree of accommodation of shocks lead to disparate variability outcomes, revealing national central banker's relative weight on output and inflation variability in their preferences. We use estimates of the structure of 23 industrialized and developing economies, including nine that target inflation explicitly, together with the realized output and inflation patterns in those countries, to infer the degree of policymakers' inflation variability aversion. Our results suggest that both countries that introduced inflation targeting, and non-targeting European Union countries approaching monetary union, increased their revealed aversion to inflation variability, and likely suffered most increases in output volatility as a result
Understanding inflation : implications for monetary policy by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
11 editions published between 1999 and 2001 in English and held by 72 libraries worldwide
This paper discusses how optimal monetary policy is affected by differences in the combination of shocks an economy experiences and the rigidities it exhibits. Without both nominal rigidities and economic shocks, monetary policy would be irrelevant. Recognizing this, policymakers increasingly incorporate the understanding gained from new research on rigidities and shocks into both their policy actions and the design of monetary institutions. Specifically, shocks can be predominantly real, affecting relative prices, or primarily nominal, moving the general price level. They may also be big or small, frequent or rare. Similarly, some nominal rigidities are symmetrical, affecting both upward and downward movements equally, while others are asymmetrical, restricting decreases more than increases. After reviewing major trends in the conduct of monetary policy, we describe how the growing theoretical and empirical literature on shocks and rigidities informs three crucial dimensions of monetary policymaking. First, we discuss why trimmed means provide the best measure of core inflation. Second, we outline how rigidities impede policymakers' ability to control inflation. And third, we describe how alternative shock/rigidity combinations create inflation's grease (whereby it improves economic efficiency by speeding adjustment) and sand effects (whereby it distorts price signals) with their contrasting implications for the optimal level of inflation. We conclude by considering some key implications for monetary policy
Asset prices in a flexible inflation targeting framework by Stephen G Cecchetti( Book )
9 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 71 libraries worldwide
We argue that there are sound theoretical reasons for believing that an inflation targeting central bank might improve macroeconomic performance by reacting to asset price misalignments over and above the deviation of, say, a two-year ahead inflation forecast from target. In this paper, we first summarize the arguments for our basic proposition. We then discuss some of the counter-arguments. Specifically, we counter those who argue that reacting to asset prices does not improve macroeconomic performance by claiming that they are attacking the 'straw man' under which central bankers react in the same way to all asset price changes. We continue to emphasize that policy reactions to asset price misalignments must be qualitatively different from reactions to asset prices changes driven by fundamentals. Hence, we stand by our earlier results and conclusions. In practice, we do believe that central bankers can detect large misalignments (e.g. the Nikkei in 1989 or the NASDAQ in early 2000), and that they might be in a better position to react to long-lived bubbles than many market participants. However, we recognize that our proposal may present communication challenges, and it is critically important that policy set to react to asset price misalignments both be explained well and that it be based on a broad consensus. It is also important to emphasize that our proposal is wholly consistent with the remit of most inflation-targeting central banks, as we are recommending that while they might react to asset price misalignments, they must not target them
 
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Alternative Names
Cecchetti, S. G. 1956-
Cecchetti, Stephen
Cecchetti, Stephen 1956-
Cecchetti, Stephen G.
Cecchetti, Stephen Giovanni.
Cecchetti, Stephen Giovanni 1956-
Cecchetti, Steven G.
Cecchetti, Steven G. 1956-
Cecchetti, Steven G. (Steven Giovanni)
Cecchetti, Steven Giovanni.
Cecchetti, Steven Giovanni 1956-
Languages
English (242)
Spanish (2)
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