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Inflation Targeting and Traget Instability

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  • Robert J. Tetlow

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Abstract

Monetary policy is modeled as being governed by a known rule, except for a time-varying target rate of inflation. The variable target can be thought of either as standing in for discretionary deviations from the rule or as the outcome of a policymaking committee that is unable to arrive at a consensus. Stochastic simulations of FRB/US, the Board of Governors’ large rational-expectations model of the U.S. economy, are used to examine the benefits of reducing the variability in the target rate of inflation. We find that putting credible boundaries on target variability introduces an important nonlinearity in expectations. The effect of this is to improve policy performance by focusing agents’ expectations on policy objectives. But improvements are limited; it does not generally pay to reduce target variability to zero. More important, this nonlinearity in expectations allows for policy to be conducted, at the margin, with greater attention to output stabilization than would otherwise be the case. The results provide insights as to why inflation-targeting countries use bands and why the bands they use are narrower than studies suggest they should be. A side benefit of the paper is the demonstration of a numerical technique that approximates to arbitrary precision a nonlinear process with a linear method, thereby greatly speeding and making more robust the computation of simulation results.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 4 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 151-192

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2008:q:4:a:5

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  1. John C. Williams, 1999. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. RIBONI, Alessandro & RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco, 2006. "The Dynamic (In)efficiency of Monetary Policy by Committee," Cahiers de recherche 02-2006, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
  4. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. 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.
  7. Aksoy, Yunus & Orphanides, Athanasios & Small, David & Wieland, Volker & Wilcox, David, 2006. "A quantitative exploration of the opportunistic approach to disinflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1877-1893, November.
  8. Summers, Lawrence, 1991. "How Should Long-Term Monetary Policy Be Determined? Panel Discussion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 625-31, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "Should Monetary Policy be Adjusted Frequently?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. John B. Taylor, 1994. "The inflation/output variability trade-off revisited," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 21-24.
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Cited by:
  1. Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2001. "Inflation Targeting Under Asymmetric Preferences," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0106, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 2003. "The Performance of Forecast-Based Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 622-645, June.
  3. William Whitesell, 2005. "An inflation goal with multiple reference measures," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Oleg Korenok & Stanislav Radchenko, 2005. "Expectations Anchoring in Inflation Targeting Regimes," Working Papers 0503, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Felipe F. Schwartzman, 2005. "Inflation Target Zones As A Commitment Mechanism," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 038, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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