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A Linear Quadratic Approach to Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: The Case of a Distorted Steady State

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  • Raissi, M.

Abstract

Ravenna and Walsh (2010) develop a linear quadratic framework for optimal monetary policy analysis in a New Keynesian model featuring search and matching frictions and show that maximization of expected utility of the representative household is equivalent to minimizing a quadratic loss function that consists of inflation, and two appropriately defined gaps involving unemployment and labor market tightness. This paper generalizes their analysis, most importantly by relaxing the Hosios (1990) condition which eliminates the distortions resulting from labor market inefficiencies, such that the equilibrium level of unemployment under flexible prices would not necessarily be optimal. I take account of steady-state distortions using the methodology of Benigno and Woodford (2005) and derive a quadratic loss function that involves the same three terms, albeit with different relative weights and definitions for unemployment- and labor market tightness gaps. I evaluate the resulting loss function subject to a simple set of log-linearized equilibrium relationships and perform policy analysis. The key result of the paper is that search externalities give rise to an endogenous cost push term in the new Keynesian Phillips curve, suggesting a case against complete price stability as the only goal of monetary policy, because there is now a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and reducing inefficient unemployment fluctuations. Transitory movements of inflation in this environment helps job creation and hence prevents excessive volatility of unemployment.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1146.

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Date of creation: 21 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1146

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, 02.
  2. Raj Chetty, 2003. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 9988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  4. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Faia, Ester, 2007. "Ramsey monetary policy with labour market frictions," Working Paper Series 0707, European Central Bank.
  6. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
  7. Sala, Luca & Söderström, Ulf & Trigari, Antonella, 2008. "Monetary policy under uncertainty in an estimated model with labor market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 983-1006, July.
  8. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2007. "Vacancies, Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," Kiel Working Papers 1362, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation stabilization and welfare: The case of a distorted steady state," Discussion Papers 0405-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Carl E. Walsh, 2005. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 829-849, October.
  11. Carlos Thomas, 2006. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19782, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Schorfheide, Frank, 2008. "Comment on: "Monetary policy under uncertainty in an estimated model with labor market frictions" by Luca Sala, Ulf Söderström, and Antonella Trigari," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 1007-1010, July.
  13. Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari & Mark Gertler, 2007. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," 2007 Meeting Papers 353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2011. "Welfare-Based Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: A Linear-Quadratic Framework," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 130-62, April.
  15. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  16. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  17. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1997. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," NBER Working Papers 6275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  19. 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.
  20. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Comments on: "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 957-960, July.
  21. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  22. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  23. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2009. "The welfare consequences of monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2009-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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Cited by:
  1. Cashin, P. & Mohaddes, K. & Raissi, M. & Raissi, M., 2012. "The Differential Effects of Oil Demand and Supply Shocks on the Global Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1249, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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