This paper reconsiders the empirical evidence connecting inflation to its higher-order moments. In particular, we examine the statistical properties of the observed positive correlation between the sample mean and the sample cross-sectional skewness of price changes. This correlation has attracted substantial attention over the years and has recently been the focal point of a debate among macroeconomists. We show that the sample mean-skewness correlation suffers from a small-sample bias that accounts for the entirety of the observed correlation. In other words, we establish that one of the stylized facts in the literature on aggregate price behavior need not be a fact at all.

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