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Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization

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  • Stefano Eusepi

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Bruce Preston

    ()
    (Columbia University - Department of Economics)

Abstract

The value of communication in monetary policy is analyzed in a model in which expectations need not be consistent with central bank policy - and, therefore, unanchored - because agents face difficult forecasting problems. When the central bank implements optimal policy without communication, the Taylor principle is not sufficient for macroeconomic stability: expectations are unanchored and self-fulfilling expectations are possible. To mitigate this instability, three communication strategies are contemplated to ensure consistency between private forecasts and monetary policy strategy: i) communicating the precise details of the monetary policy that is, the variables and coefficients; ii) communicating only the variables on which monetary policy decisions are conditioned; and iii) communicating the inflation target. The first two strategies restore the Taylor principle as a sufficient condition for anchoring expectations. In contrast, in economies with persistent shocks, communicating the inflation target fails to protect against expectations driven fluctuations. These results underscore the importance of communicating the systematic component of monetary policy strategy: announcing an inflation target is not enough to stabilize expectations one must also announce how this target will be achieved.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0708-10.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clu:wpaper:0708-10

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  1. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, December.
  3. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
  4. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Stabilizing Expectations under Monetary and Fiscal Policy Coordination," NBER Working Papers 14391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2007. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 13259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 14181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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