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Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting

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  • Lars E O Svensson

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

"Forecast targeting", forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the U.S. economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A complicated infinite-horizon central-bank projection model of the economy can be closely approximated by a simple finite system of linear equations, which is easily solved for the optimal policy projections. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank’s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2005:q:2:a:1

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  1. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," International Finance Discussion Papers 807, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marcet, A. & Marimon, R., 1998. "Recursive Contracts," Economics Working Papers eco98/37, European University Institute.
  5. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: a re-examination," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 105, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Sharon Kozicki, 1999. "How useful are Taylor rules for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-33.
  7. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 225-245.
  9. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1986. "The Consistency of Optimal Policy in Stochastic Rational Expectations Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Targeting vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Currie,David & Levine,Paul, 1993. "Rules, Reputation and Macroeconomic Policy Coordination," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521441964, October.
  12. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Working Paper Series 0012, European Central Bank.
  13. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  14. 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.).
  15. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  16. Lars Svensson & Noah Williams, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 11733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2004. "Targeting Rules vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy: What is Wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," NBER Working Papers 10747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Linde, Jesper, 2005. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips curves: A full information maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1135-1149, September.
  19. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  20. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  21. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  22. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
  23. Lars E.O. Svensson & Kjetil Houg & Haakon O.Aa. Solheim & Erling Steigum, 2002. "An Independent Review of Monetary Policy and Institutions in Norway," Working Papers 120, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  24. Reifschneider, David L. & Stockton, David J. & Wilcox, David W., 1997. "Econometric models and the monetary policy process," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-37, December.
  25. Walsh, Carl E, 2004. "Robustly Optimal Instrument Rules and Robust Control: An Equivalence Result," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-13, December.
  26. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
  27. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
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