Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Flexible Rules cum Constrained Discretion: A New Consensus in Monetary Policy

Contents:

Author Info

  • P Arestis
  • A Mihailov

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that recent influential contributions to monetary policy imply an emerging consensus whereby neither rigid rules nor complete discretion are found optimal. Instead, middle-ground monetary regimes based on rules (operative under 'normal' circumstances) to anchor inflation expectations over the long run, but designed with enough flexibility to mitigate the short-run effect of shocks (with communicated discretion in 'exceptional' circumstances temporarily overriding these rules), are gaining support in theoretical models and policy formulation and implementation. The opposition of 'rules versus discretion' has, thus, reappeared as the synthesis of 'rules cum discretion', in essence as inflation-forecast targeting. But such synthesis is not without major theoretical problems, as we argue in this contribution. Furthermore, the very recent real-world events have made it obvious that the inflation targeting strategy of monetary policy, which rests upon the new consensus paradigm in modern macroeconomics is at best a 'fair weather' model. In the turbulent economic climate of highly unstable inflation, deep financial crisis and world-wide, abrupt economic slowdown nowadays this approach needs serious rethinking to say the least, if not abandoning it altogether. Classification-JEL:

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.economicissues.org.uk/Files/209Arestis.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Issues in its journal Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 14 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 27-54

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eis:articl:209arestis

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
Web page: http://www.economicissues.org.uk
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
  2. Michael Woodford, 2009. "Convergence in Macroeconomics: Elements of the New Synthesis," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 267-79, January.
  3. Aubhik Khan & Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2002. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 02-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  5. Mats Persson & Torsten Persson & Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Time Consistency of Fiscal and Monetary Policy: A Solution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 193-212, 01.
  6. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  7. 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.
  8. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  9. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  10. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2006. "The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer," NBER Working Papers 12349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:fth:harver:1470 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
  13. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma & Ernest Gnan, 2007. "The natural rate of interest: which concept? which estimation method? which policy conclusions?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(4), pages 667-688, July.
  14. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
  15. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
  16. 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.
  17. F Alexandre & P Bacao, 2006. "Investment and Non-fundamental Movements in Asset Prices: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 11(1), pages 65-95, March.
  18. Marvin Goodfriend, 1985. "Monetary mystique : secrecy and central banking," Working Paper 85-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  19. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," CEPR Discussion Papers 1852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  21. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2007. "Monetary policy in the UK," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(6), pages 863-884, November.
  22. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1991. "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 3256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  24. D Nocetti, 2007. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Risk and Uncertainty," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 12(1), pages 93-108, March.
  25. Alexander Mihailov, 2006. "Operational independence, inflation targeting, and UK monetary policy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 28(3), pages 395-421, April.
  26. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2006. "The Greenspan Era: Discretion, Rather Than Rules," NBER Working Papers 12118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Lars E.O. Svensson & Robert J. Tetlow, 2005. "Optimal policy projections," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  28. Eijffinger, Sylvester C. W. & Hoeberichts, Marco, 2000. "Central Bank accountability and transparency: theory and some evidence," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,06, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  29. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick Kehoe, 2003. "The Optimal Degree of Discretion in Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2003. "Inflation Targeting: A Critical Appraisal," Macroeconomics 0309015, EconWPA.
  31. Marco Vega & Diego Winkelried, 2005. "Inflation Targeting and Inflation Behavior: A Successful Story?," Macroeconomics 0502026, EconWPA.
  32. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  33. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2006. "The Greenspan Era: Discretion, Rather than Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 174-177, May.
  34. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1984. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Ulf Söderström & Paul Söderlind & Anders Vredin, 2005. "New-Keynesian Models and Monetary Policy: A Re-examination of the Stylized Facts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 521-546, 09.
  36. Bernanke, Ben S & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 653-84, November.
  37. Giuseppe Fontana & Alfonso Palacio- Vera, 2005. "Are Long-Run Price Stability and Short-run Output Stabilization All that Monetary Policy Can Aim For?," Macroeconomics 0511024, EconWPA.
  38. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Macroeconomics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 2005. "The econometrics of the New Keynesian price equation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1059-1060, September.
  41. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  42. Woodford, Michael, 1995. "Price-level determinacy without control of a monetary aggregate," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-46, December.
  43. Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1997. "In Search of a Successor to IS-LM," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 135-44, Autumn.
  44. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  45. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  46. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981.
  48. Arestis, Philip & Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Cipollini, Andrea, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Affect the Trade-Off between Output Gap and Inflation Variability?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 528-45, Special I.
  49. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316.
  50. Giuseppe Fontana, 2007. "Why money matters: Wicksell, Keynes, and the new consensus view on monetary policy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 30(1), pages 43-60, October.
  51. S. G. B Henry & A. R. Pagan, 2004. "The Econometrics of the New Keynesian Policy Model: Introduction," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(s1), pages 581-607, 09.
  52. Marvin Goodfriend, 2007. "How the World Achieved Consensus on Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2004. "On the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy and of Fiscal Policy," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(4), pages 441-463.
  54. Servaas Storm & C. W. M. Naastepad, 2007. "It is high time to ditch the NAIRU," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(4), pages 531-554, July.
  55. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  56. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  57. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  58. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2007. "Assessing Inflation Targeting Through Intervention Analysis," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 87, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  59. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  60. James Forder, 2001. "The Theory of Credibility and the Reputation-bias of Policy," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 5-25.
  61. Archer, David J., 1997. "The New Zealand approach to rules and discretion in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 3-15, June.
  62. Nancy L. Stokey, 2003. ""Rules vs. Discretion" After Twenty-Five Years," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 9-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  63. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2006. "Has inflation targeting had any impact on inflation?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 559-571, July.
  64. Herrendorf, Berthold, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Way of Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 431-48, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2008. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields and Methods from Past to Future," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2008-64, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  2. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2011-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eis:articl:209arestis. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dan Wheatley).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.