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Abstract

We empirically analyze the impact of product market competition on the responsiveness of inflation to macroeconomic imbalances. If competition is high the response of inflation to lagged inflation, unemployment and import prices is reduced, while inflation is more responsive to changes in productivity growth in countries in which competition is above the OECD average. Given the (‘good luck’) macroeconomic trajectories of the 1990s–2000s, the structural reforms that made goods markets more competitive improved the ability of OECD economies to smooth (dis)inflationary shocks, while changes in the monetary policy framework had a modest role in taming inflation during the Great Moderation.