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Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs

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Recent monetary history has been characterized by monetary authorities that appear to shift periodically between distinct policy regimes associated with higher or lower average rates of money creation. As policy regimes are not directly observable and as the rate of monetary expansion varies for reasons other than regime changes, the general public must form beliefs over current monetary policy based on historical realizations of money growth rates. Depending on the parameters governing the behaviour of monetary policy, beliefs (and therefore inflation forecasts) may evolve very slowly in the wake of actual regime changes, thereby exacerbating the costs of a disinflation policy. The quantitative importance of slowly adjusting beliefs is evaluated in the context of a computable general equilibrium model. L'histoire monétaire récente a été marquée par des autorités monétaires choisissant périodiquement de passer d'un régime à un autre, régimes se caractérisant par des taux de création monétaire moyens distinctement plus ou moins élevés. Comme ces régimes ne sont pas directement observables et et que le taux de croissance monétaire varie pour d'autres raisons que celles liées au régime, le public doit former des croyances concernant la politique monétaire courante basées sur les réalisations historiques des taux de croissance de la monnaie. Suivant les paramètres gouvernant le comportement de la politique monétaire, les croyances (et ainsi les prévisions d'inflation) peuvent évoluer fort lentement par rapport aux vrais changements de régimes, ce qui amplifie les coûts d'une politique désinflationniste. L'importance quantitative des croyances à évolution lente est évaluée dans le cadre d'un modèle d'équilibre général calculable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal in its series Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers with number 48.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 1997
Date of revision: Apr 2001
Handle: RePEc:cre:crefwp:48

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Keywords: monetary policy; regime switching; beliefs;

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  1. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  2. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  13. 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.
  14. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 211-21, April.
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