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Incentive schemes for central bankers under uncertainty: inflation targets versus contracts

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  • Eric Schaling
  • Marco Hoeberichts
  • Sylvester Eijffinger

Abstract

The implications of uncertain policy preferences for the targeting and contracting approaches to monetary policy are investigated. It is shown that, in the presence of uncertain preferences, a linear incentive contract in the sense of Walsh performs better than an explicit inflation target as proposed by Svensson. The reason is that an inflation target produces a higher variance of inflation. It is also shown that itis optimal to offer a linear inflation contract that does not depend on the degree of preference uncertainty.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/workingpapers/1998/wp88.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 88.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:88

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  1. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1996. "Rogoff's Conservative Central Banker Restored," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 450, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 1249, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Cukierman, Alex & Wachtel, Paul, 1979. "Differential Inflationary Expectations and the Variability of the Rate of Inflation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 595-609, September.
  4. Charles Nolan & Eric Schaling, 1996. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty and Central Bank Accountability," Bank of England working papers 54, Bank of England.
  5. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  6. Allan D. Brunner & Gregory D. Hess, 1990. "Are higher levels of inflation less predictable? A state-dependent conditional heteroskedasticity approach," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 141, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Jensen, Henrik, 1998. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(3), pages 384-403, August.
  8. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  9. Davis, George & Kanago, Bryce, 1998. "High and Uncertain Inflation: Results from a New Data Set," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 218-30, May.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  12. Clive Briault & Andrew Haldane & Mervyn King, 1996. "Independence and Accountability," Bank of England working papers 49, Bank of England.
  13. Eijffinger, S-C-W & de Haan, J, 1996. "The Political Economy of Central-Bank Independence," Princeton Studies in International Economics 19, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
  14. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  15. Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1990. "Inflation and Uncertainty at Long and Short Horizons," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 215-254.
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Cited by:
  1. Georgios E. Chortareas & Stephen M. Miller, 2002. "Central Banker Contracts, Incomplete Information, and Monetary Policy Surprises: In Search of a Selfish Central Banker?," Working papers 2002-29, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Sénégas, Marc-Alexandre & Vilmunen, Jouko, 1999. "The Effects of Transmission Uncertainty on the Flexibility-Credibility Tradeoff in Monetary Policy," Research Discussion Papers 14/1999, Bank of Finland.

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