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Managing disinflation under uncertainty

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  • Tesfaselassie, M.F.
  • Schaling, E.

Abstract

In this paper we analyze disinflation policy when a central bank has imperfect information about private sector inflation expectations but learns about them from economic outcomes, which are in part the result of the disinflation policy itself. The form of uncertainty is manifested as uncertainty about the effect of past disinflation policy on the current output gap. This differs from other studies on learning and control in a monetary policy context (e.g., [Ellison, 2006] and [Svensson and Williams, 2007]) that assume uncertainty about the effects of current policy actions on the economy. We derive the central bank's optimal disinflation strategy under active learning (DOP) and compare it with two limiting cases--certainty equivalence policy (CEP), or passive learning, and a Brainard-style cautionary monetary policy (CP). It turns out that under the DOP inflation stays between the levels implied by the CEP and the CP. A novel result--e.g., unlike Beck and Wieland (2002)--is that this holds irrespective of the initial level of inflation. At high levels of inherited inflation the DOP moves closer to the CEP, at low levels of inherited inflation the DOP resembles the CP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2568-2577

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:12:p:2568-2577

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Keywords: Learning Inflation expectations Disinflation policy Separation principle Kalman filter Optimal control Dynamic programming;

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References

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  1. Ellison, Martin, 2006. "The learning cost of interest rate reversals," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1895-1907, November.
  2. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
  3. Schaling, Eric, 2003. "Learning, inflation expectations and optimal monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 20/2003, Bank of Finland.
  4. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 199-228, August.
  5. Volker Wieland, 1996. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Mewael F. Tesfaselassie & Eric Schaling & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2007. "Learning About the Term Structure and Optimal Rules for Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 62, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  7. Antulio N. Bomfim & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1997. "Opportunistic and deliberate disinflation under imperfect credibility," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 97-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts, 2010. "Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Learning to Believe in Disinflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 23-42, April.
  9. Lars E.O. Svensson & Noah M. Williams, 2007. "Bayesian and Adaptive Optimal Policy under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 13414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Yetman, James, 2003. "Probing potential output: Monetary policy, credibility, and optimal learning under uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 311-330, September.
  11. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
  12. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2007. "Benefits from U.S. Monetary Policy Experimentation in the Days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 67-99, 02.
  13. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1988. "The Fate of Systems with "Adaptive" Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 168-72, May.
  14. Beck, Gunter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Learning and control in a changing economic environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1359-1377, August.
  15. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  16. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Controlling a Stochastic Process with Unknown Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1045-64, September.
  17. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Nyarko, Yaw, 1989. "Optimal Control of an Unknown Linear Process with Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(3), pages 571-86, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Mewael F. Tesfaselassie, 2008. "Central Bank Learning and Monetary Policy," Kiel Working Papers 1444, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Inflation Targeting, Credibility, and Non-Linear Taylor Rules," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201235, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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