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Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria

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  • King, Robert G.
  • Wolman, Alexander L.

Abstract

In a plain-vanilla New Keynesian model with two-period staggered price-setting, discretionary monetary policy leads to multiple equilibria. Complementarity between pricing decisions of forward-looking firms underlies the multiplicity, which is intrinsically dynamic in nature. At each point in time, the discretionary monetary authority optimally accommodates the level of predetermined prices when setting the money supply because it is concerned solely about real activity. Hence, if other firms set a high price in the current period, an individual firm will optimally choose a high price because it knows that the monetary authority next period will accommodate with a high money supply. Under commitment, the mechanism generating complementarity is absent: the monetary authority commits not to respond to future predetermined prices. Multiple equilibria also arise in other similar contexts where (i) a policymaker cannot commit, and (ii) forward-looking agents determine a state variable to which future policy responds. JEL Classification: E5, E61, D78

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0343.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20040343

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Keywords: complementarity; discretion; monetary policy; Multiple Equilibria; time-consistency;

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  1. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860, October.
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  4. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  9. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  10. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  11. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, . "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 198, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
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  14. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "Sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-108, November.
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