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Working Paper Series

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Working papers disseminate economic research relevant not only to the tasks and functions of the Bank of Lithuania and of the European System of Central Banks but also appealing more broadly to the academic community in economics and finance. They present, discuss and analyse the results of original and academically rigorous theoretical and/or empirical research. Working papers constitute the basis for publications in leading academic journals, making contributions to the existing literature in the fields of economics and finance. They encourage collaboration between the researchers of the Bank of Lithuania and other central banks, Lithuanian and foreign universities and research institutes.

Papers are only available in English.

No 56

Slicing up inflation: analysis and forecasting of Lithuanian inflation components

  • Abstract

    In this paper we model five Lithuanian HICP subcomponents in a medium scale Bayesian VAR framework. We deal with the parameter proliferation problem by setting the appropriate amount of shrinkage determined in the out-of-sample forecasting exercise. The main body of the paper consists of displaying the model’s performance in two applications: forecasting and analysis of inflation determinants. We find the model’s forecasts to be competitive against the univariate statistical models, particularly in the cases of predicting processed food and energy goods inflation. What is more, exercises based on conditional forecasting show that these two indices make the best use of accurate conditional information in terms of improving predicting accuracy. In the decomposition of the drivers of HICP components, we demonstrate that both, domestic and foreign factors can be prevalent inflation determinants in certain time periods. We also find some evidence on employees’ bargaining power playing a role in determining the Lithuanian consumer price inflation.

    JEL Codes: C32, C53, E37.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 46

Optimal long-run inflation and the informal economy

  • Abstract

    This paper studies the optimal long-run rate of inflation in a two-sector model of the Lithuanian economy with informal production and price rigidity in the regular sector. The government issues no debt and is committed to follow a balanced budget rule. The informal sector is unregulated and untaxed and its existence limits the government’s ability to collect revenues through fiscal policy. Such environment provides therefore the basis for quantifying the possible existence of a public finance motive for inflation. The main results can be summarized as follows: First, there is a strong heterogeneity in the optimal inflation rate which depends on the tax rate that is endogenously adjusted to keep the budget balanced. Inflation can be as high as 6.77% when the capital tax rate is endogenous, but when labor income taxes are adjusted optimal policy calls for a rate of deflation such that the nominal interest rate hits the zero lower bound. Second, the optimal inflation rate is a non-decreasing function of the size of the informal economy and, in most cases, there is a positive relationship between the two. Finally, substantial deviations from zero inflation are observed even in presence of a plausible degree of price rigidity.

    JEL Codes: E26, E52, H26.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 41

U.K. monetary policy under inflation targeting

  • Abstract

    This paper considers a variety of reaction functions in the context of real time data to analyse U.K. monetary policy under inflation targeting adopted in 1992. In order to deal with lack of current and future data in real time, we construct the forecasts of expected variables in the first step and use the constructed data for the estimations of contemporaneous- and forward-looking rules. Moreover, we employ the impulse-indicator saturation method to deal with the issue of outliers and therefore obtain robust estimates of policy parameters. Our results show that the robust characteristics of monetary policy during the inflation targeting regime are forward-looking and raising the interest rate by more than one-to-one to movements in inflation, thereby satisfying the Taylor principle.

    JEL Codes: C22, C52, C53, E52, E58.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.

No 35

The pass-through to consumer prices in CIS economies: the role of exchange rates, commodities and other common factors

  • Abstract

    Non-technical summary (23.7 KB download icon)

    This empirical study considers the pass-through of key nominal exchange rates and commodity prices to consumer prices in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), taking into account the effect of idiosyncratic and common factors influencing prices. In order to do that, given the relatively short window of available quarterly observations (1999–2014), we choose heterogeneous panel frameworks and control for cross-sectional dependence. The exchange rate pass-through is found to be relatively high and rapid for CIS countries in the case of the nominal effective exchange rate, but not significant for the bilateral rate with the US dollar. We also show that global factors in combination with financial gaps and commodity prices are important. In the case of large rate swings, the exchange rate pass-through of the bilateral rate with the US dollar becomes significant and similar to that of the nominal effective exchange rate.

    JEL Codes: C38, E31, F31.

    The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Bank of Lithuania.