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On signal extraction and non-certainty-equivalence in optimal monetary policy rules

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  • Eric T. Swanson

Abstract

A standard result in the literature on monetary policy rules is that of certainty equivalence: given the expected values of all the state variables of the economy, policy should be set in a way that is independent of all higher moments of those variables. Some exceptions to this rule have been pointed out by Smets (1998), who restricts policy to respond to only a limited subset of state variables, and by Orphanides (1998), who restricts policy to respond to estimates of the state variables that are biased. In contrast, this paper studies unrestricted, fully optimal policy rules with optimal estimation of state variables. The rules in this framework exhibit certainty equivalence with respect to estimates of an unobserved, possibly complicated, state of the economy X, but are not certainty-equivalent when 1) a signal-extraction problem is involved in the estimation of X, and 2) the optimal rule is expressed as a reduced form that combines policymakers' estimation and policy-setting stages. In general, I show that it is optimal for policymakers to attenuate their reaction coefficient on a variable about which uncertainty has increased, while responding more aggressively to all other variables, about which uncertainty hasn't changed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2000:x:5

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Forecasting;

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References

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  1. Volker Wieland, . "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0014, European Central Bank.
  3. Frank Smets, 1998. "Output gap uncertainty: does it matter for the Taylor rule?," BIS Working Papers 60, Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Working Paper Series 0012, European Central Bank.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  6. 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.
  7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "Rethinking the Role of NAIRU in Monetary Policy: Implications of Model Formulation and Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 405-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  10. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Drew, Aaron & Hunt, Benjamin, 2000. "Efficient simple policy rules and the implications of potential output uncertainty," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 143-160.
  12. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stephen K. McNees, 1995. "Assessment of the "official" economic forecasts," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 13-23.
  14. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Aoki, Kosuke, 2003. "On the optimal monetary policy response to noisy indicators," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 501-523, April.
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