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Stochastic Optimization and Worst Case Analysis in Monetary Policy Design

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  • Rustem, Berc
  • Wieland, Volker
  • Zakovic, Stan

Abstract

In this paper we compare expected loss minimization to worst-case or minimax analysis in the design of simple Taylor-style rules for monetary policy using a small model estimated for the euro area by Orphanides and Wieland (2000). We find that rules optimized under a minimax objective in the presence of general parameter and shock uncertainty do not imply extreme policy activism. Such rules tend to obey the Brainard principle of cautionary policy-making in much the same way as rules derived by expected loss minimization. Rules derived by means of minimax analysis are effective insurance policies limiting maximum loss over ranges of parameter values to be set by the policy-maker. In practice, we propose to set these ranges with an eye towards the cost of such insurance cover in terms of the implied increase in expected inflation variability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5019.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5019

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Keywords: euro area; minimax; monetary policy rules; robust control; worst-case analysis;

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References

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Williams, John C. & Levin, Andrew T. & Wieland, Volker, 2001. "The performance of forecast-based monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0068, European Central Bank.
  3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
  4. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  5. Ann-Charlotte Eliasson & Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 99/75, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2000. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 1999. "Inflation zone targeting," Working Paper Series 0008, European Central Bank.
  8. Laurence M. Ball, 1999. "Policy Rules for Open Economies," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 127-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Pitfalls of a Minimax Approach to Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 51-54, May.
  10. Rustem, Berc, 1994. "Stochastic and robust control of nonlinear economic systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 304-318, March.
  11. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 2000. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 7490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Peter von zur Muehlen, 2001. "Activist vs. non-activist monetary policy: optimal rules under extreme uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Karakitsos, E. & Rustem, B., 1984. "Optimally derived fixed rules and indicators," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 33-64, October.
  15. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of simple monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leitemo , Kai & Söderström , Ulf, 2005. "Robust monetary policy in a small open economy," Research Discussion Papers 20/2005, Bank of Finland.
  2. Küster, Keith & Wieland, Volker, 2005. "Insurance policies for monetary policy in the Euro area," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Esteban-Bravo, Mercedes & Vidal-Sanz, Jose M., 2007. "Worst-case estimation for econometric models with unobservable components," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3330-3354, April.
  4. G. C. Lim & Paul D. McNelis, 2006. "Inflation Targeting, Learning and Q Volatility in Small Open Economies," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2006n22, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Gadi Barlevy, 2009. "Policymaking under uncertainty: Gradualism and robustness," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 38-55.
  6. Q. Farooq Akram & Yakov Ben-Haim & Øyvind Eitrheim, 2006. "Managing uncertainty through robust-satisficing monetary policy," Working Paper 2006/10, Norges Bank.
  7. Arnulfo Rodriguez, 2004. "Robust Control: A Note on the Timing of Model Uncertainty," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 209-221, July.

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