A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model
AbstractNatural-rate models suggest that the systematic parts of monetary policy will not have important consequences for the business cycle. Nevertheless, we often observe high and variable rates of monetary growth, and a tendency for monetary authorities to pursue countercyclical policies. This behavior is shown to be consistent with a rational expectations equilibrium in a discretionary environment where the policymaker pursues a "reasonable" objective, but where precommitments on monetary growth are precluded. At each point in time, the policymaker optimizes subject to given inflationary expectations, which determine a Phillips Curve-type tradeoff between monetary growth/inflation and unemployment. Inflationary expectations are formed with the knowledge that policymakers will be in this situation. Accordingly, equilibrium excludes systematic deviations between actual and expected inflation, which means that the equilibrium unemployment rate ends up independent of "policy" in our model. However, the equilibrium rates of monetary growth/inflation depend on various parameters, including the slope of the Phillips Curve, the costs attached to unemployment versus inflation, and the level of the natural unemployment rate. The monetary authority determines an average inflation rate that is "excessive," and also tends to behave countercyclically. Outcomes are shown to improve if a costlessly operating rule is implemented in order to precomrnit future policy choices in the appropriate manner. The value of these precommitments -- that is, of long-term agreements between the government and the private sector -- underlies the argument for rules over discretion. Discretion is the sub-set of rules that provides no guarantees about the government's future behavior.
Download InfoIf 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 91 (1983)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/
Other versions of this item:
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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.:
- Auernheimer, Leonardo, 1974. "The Honest Government's Guide to the Revenue from the Creation of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 598-606, May/June.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hercowitz, Zvi, 1981.
"Money and the Dispersion of Relative Prices,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 328-56, April.
- Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
- Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
- Taylor, John B, 1975. "Monetary Policy during a Transition to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(5), pages 1009-21, October.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Central Bank Independence, Transparency, and Accountability
by Guest Author in the big picture on 2010-05-31 12:30:15
- El futuro de la inflación en Argentina II.
by Andrés Neumeyer in Foco Económico on 2011-02-27 12:00:00
- ¿Por qué tenemos inflación?
by Andrés Neumeyer in Foco Económico on 2010-11-14 12:00:00
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
- Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)
- Top 1 items by number of citations
- Top 1 items by number of citations weighted by simple impact factors
- Top 1 items by number of citations weighted by recursive impact factors
- Top 1 items by number of citations discounted by age
- Top 1 items by number of citations weighted by simple impact factors and discounted by age
- Top 1 items by number of citations weighted by recursive impact factors and discounted by age
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.