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The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment

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  • Jensen, Christian
  • McCallum, Bennett T.

Abstract

Several recent papers have usefully emphasized the inefficiency that arises from discretionary monetary policymaking, relative to optimal policy from a 'timeless perspective,' in macroeconomic models with forward-looking private behavior. The inefficiency in question is in terms of average outcomes of the conditional expectation of a policy objective that reflects the discounted present value of current and future period losses (which involve squared deviations of inflation and output from specified target levels). In the literature, most of the analysis has been conducted in an optimizing model that features a Calvo-Rotemberg price adjustment equation that includes a 'cost-push' shock term. This literature suggests that policy, which keeps inflation equal to a negative multiple of the change in the output gap, is optimal with respect to the criterion mentioned above -- the unconditional expectation of the policymaker's objective function. Results reported here show, however, that this is not the case -- that an alternative policy rule, suggested by the approach of 'policy design' rather than by 'optimal control,' delivers superior results.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 77 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 163-168

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:77:y:2002:i:2:p:163-168

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Bennett T. McCallum, . "Role of the minimal state variable criterion in rational expectations models," GSIA Working Papers 1999-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  2. Prescott, Edward C., 1977. "Should control theory be used for economic stabilization?: A rejoinder," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 101-102, January.
  3. Svensson, Lars E O & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy Through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2000. "Timeless Perspectives vs. Discretionary Monetary Policy In Forward-Looking Models," NBER Working Papers 7915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Carl Walsh, 2001. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 609, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Michael Woodford, 2000. "Pitfalls of Forward-Looking Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 100-104, May.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion," NBER Working Papers 7087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Prescott, Edward C., 1977. "Should control theory be used for economic stabilization?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 13-38, January.
  12. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jensen, Henrik, 1999. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
  15. Vestin, David, 2000. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting in a Forward-looking Model," Working Paper Series 106, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  16. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
  18. n/a, 2001. "A Timeless Perspective on Optimality in Forward-Looking Rational Expectations Models," NIESR Discussion Papers 154, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  19. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  20. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
  21. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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