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Optimal Monetary Policy when Agents are Learning

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  • Krisztina Molnár
  • Sergio Santoro

Abstract

We derive the optimal monetary policy in a sticky price model when private agents follow adaptive learning. We show that this slight departure from rationality has important implications for policy design. The central bank faces a new intertemporal trade-off, not present under rational expectations: it is optimal to forego stabilizing the economy in the present in order to facilitate private sector learning and thus ease the future intratemporal inflation-output gap trade-offs. The policy recommendation is robust: the welfare loss entailed by the optimal policy under learning if the private sector actually has rational expectations is much smaller than if the central bank mistakenly assumes rational expectations when in fact agents are learning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3072.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3072

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Keywords: optimal monetary policy; learning; rational expectations;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
  3. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. A. Orphanides & J. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Milani, Fabio, 2006. "A Bayesian DSGE Model with Infinite-Horizon Learning: Do "Mechanical" Sources of Persistence Become Superfluous?," MPRA Paper 809, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  8. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Adaptive Learning, Persistence, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 376-385, 04-05.
  9. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824, October.
  10. Sergey Slobodyan & Raf Wouters, 2009. "Learning in an Estimated Medium-Scale DSGE Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp396, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  11. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060, August.
  12. Marcet, A. & Nicolini, J.P., 1997. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," Papers 9721, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  13. F. Brayton & P. Tinsley, 1996. "A guide to FRB/US: a macroeconomic model of the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2004. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 541-567, 03.
  15. Klaus Adam & Roberto M. Billi, 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Research Working Paper RWP 05-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Interpreting Inflation Persistence: Comments on the Conference on "Quantitative Evidence on Price Determination"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 203-210, 02.
  17. Ferrero, Giuseppe, 2007. "Monetary policy, learning and the speed of convergence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3006-3041, September.
  18. Tim W. Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Working Papers 510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," CDMA Working Paper Series 200802, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  2. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2011. "Internal rationality, imperfect market knowledge and asset prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1224-1252, May.
  3. Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "Productivity growth, transparency, and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 329-344.
  4. Melecky, Martin & Rodrıguez Palenzuela, Diego & Soderstrom, Ulf, 2008. "Inflation Target Transparency and the Macroeconomy," MPRA Paper 10545, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  6. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00609824 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Alberto Locarno, 2012. "Monetary policy in a model with misspecified, heterogeneous and ever-changing expectations," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 888, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  8. Christian Jensen, 2006. "Expectations, Learning, and Discretionary Policymaking," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.
  9. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2009. "Internal Rationality and Asset Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 7498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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