Quarterly Review 1524

Procyclical Prices: A Demi-Myth?

Holger C. Wolf

Spring 1991

This paper critically reevaluates recent claims that the postwar U.S. price level exhibits countercyclicality. While overall countercyclicality is confirmed, temporal disaggregation suggests a shift from pro- to countercyclicality in the early 1970s. Furthermore, the countercyclicality is markedly more pronounced for negative than for positive output innovations. The evidence thus casts doubt on single-source business cycle explanations.

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