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Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy

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  • Jeffery D. Amato

    (Goldman Sachs International)

  • Thomas Laubach

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

We study the implications for optimal monetary policy of introducing habit formation in consumption into a general equilibrium model with sticky prices. Habit formation affects the model's endogenous dynamics through its effects on both aggregate demand and households' supply of output. We show that the objective of monetary policy consistent with welfare maximisation includes output stablisation, as well as inflation and output gap stablisation. We find that the variance of output increases under optimal policy, even though it acquires a higher implicit weight in the welfare function. We also find that a simple interest rate rule nearly achieves the welfare-optimal allocation, regardless of the degree of habit formation. In this rule, the optimal responses to inflation and the lagged interest rate are both declining in the size of the habit, although super-inertial policies remain optimal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank for International Settlements in its series BIS Working Papers with number 121.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:121

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Keywords: interest rate rules; habit formation; optimal monetary policy;

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  1. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  2. Woodford Michael, 2002. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-53, February.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  4. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. 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.
  6. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, October.
  8. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "A small estimated euro area model with rational expectations and nominal rigidities," Working Paper Series 0030, European Central Bank.
  9. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2004. "Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-325, March.
  10. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  13. 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.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Substitution over Time: Another Look at Life Cycle Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 6585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 631-49, July.
  16. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  17. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Rochelle M. Edge, 2000. "Time-to-build, time-to-plan, habit-persistence, and the liquidity effect," International Finance Discussion Papers 673, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Alan S. Blinder, 1994. "On Sticky Prices: Academic Theories Meet the Real World," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 117-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  22. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  23. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  24. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  25. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
  26. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1, October.
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