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Caution and conservatism in the making of monetary policy

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  • Schellekens, Philip
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    Abstract

    Does society benefit from the delegation of monetary policy to cautious and conservative central bankers? We offer a critical view on the delegation literature and relax seemingly innocuous assumptions about uncertainty and preferences. First, caution improves credibility but does not obviate the need for central-bank conservatism. Second, previous models of delegation have focused on suboptimal forms of conservatism. We derive optimal concepts of conservatism that mitigate, or eliminate, any residual problem of credibility. Third, we rationalize why credible monetary policy may be conducive to stable inflation and output. JEL Classification: E50

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0025.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20000025

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    1. Poole, William, 1970. "Optimal Choice of Monetary Policy Instruments in a Simple Stochastic Macro Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 197-216, May.
    2. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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    4. Swank, Otto H, 1994. " Better Monetary Control May Increase the Inflationary Bias of Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(1), pages 125-31.
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    16. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-11, May.
    17. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
    18. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
    19. Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1990. "Inflation and Uncertainty at Long and Short Horizons," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 215-254.
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    21. Pearce, Douglas K. & Sobue, Motoshi, 1997. "Uncertainty and the inflation bias of monetary policy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 203-207, December.
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