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Is time ripe for price level path stability?

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  • Gaspar, Vítor
  • Smets, Frank
  • Vestin, David

Abstract

In the paper, we provide a critical and selective survey of arguments relevant for the assessment of the case for price level path stability (PLPS). Using a standard hybrid new Keynesian model we argue that price level stability provides a natural framework for monetary policy under commitment. There are two main arguments in favour of a PLPS regime. First, it helps overall macroeconomic stability by making expectations operate like automatic stabilizers. Second, under a price level path stability regime, changes in the price level operate like an intertemporal adjustment mechanism, reducing the magnitude of required changes in nominal interest rates. Such a property is particularly relevant as a means to alleviate the importance of the zero bound on nominal interest rates. We also review and discuss the arguments against price level path stability. Finally, we also found, using the Smets and Wouters (2003) model which includes a wide variety of frictions and is estimated for the euro area, that the price level is stationary under optimal policy under commitment. The results obtain when the quasi-difference of inflation is used in the loss function, as in the hybrid new Keynesian model. Overall, the arguments in favour of or against price level path stability depend on the degree of dependence of private sector expectations on the characteristics of the monetary policy regime. JEL Classification: E52, D83

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0818.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070818

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Related research

Keywords: Adaptive Learning; expectations; Price Level Stability;

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Cited by:
  1. Beyer, Andreas & Gaspar, Vítor & Gerberding, Christina & Issing, Otmar, 2009. "Opting out of the great inflation: German monetary policy after the breakdown of Bretton Woods," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Loisel, O., 2005. "Central Bank Reputation in a Forward-Looking Model," Working papers 127, Banque de France.
  3. Sofía Bauducco B. & Rodrigo Caputo G, 2011. "Metas de Nivel de Precios y Metas de Inflación: Una Revisión de la Literatura," Notas de Investigación Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 14(1), pages 55-67, April.
  4. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2011. "Irving Fisher and Price-Level Targeting in Austria: Was Silver the Answer?," NBER Working Papers 17123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jiri Bohm & Jan Filacek & Ivana Kubicova & Romana Zamazalova, 2011. "Price-Level Targeting - A Real Alternative to Inflation Targeting?," Research and Policy Notes 2011/01, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  6. Robert S. Gazzale & Jared C Carbone, 2011. "A Shared Sense of Responsibility: Money Versus Effort Contributions in the Vountary Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  7. Roberto Billi, 2008. "Price-level targeting and risk management in a low-inflation economy," Research Working Paper RWP 08-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  8. Giannoni, Marc P., 2014. "Optimal interest-rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 110-129.
  9. Iulian Vasile Popescu, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting – A Viable Alternative To Inflation Targeting?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 809-823, December.
  10. Meh, Césaire A. & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Terajima, Yaz, 2010. "Aggregate and welfare effects of redistribution of wealth under inflation and price-level targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 637-652, September.
  11. Kenneth Kuttner & Adam Posen, 2011. "How Flexible Can Inflation Targeting Be and Still Work?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-10, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Sep 2011.
  12. Hatcher, Michael C., 2011. "Comparing inflation and price-level targeting: A comprehensive review of the literature," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/22, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  13. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Michael R. Pakko, 2012. "Taylor-type rules and total factor productivity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 41-64.
  14. Gino Cateau, 2009. "Optimal Policy under Commitment and Price Level Stationarity," Working Papers 09-8, Bank of Canada.

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