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On Signal Extraction and Non-Certainty-Equivalence in Optimal Monetary Policy Rules

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  • Eric Swanson

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

A standard result in the literature on monetary policy rules is that of certainty equivalence: given the expected values of all the state variables of the economy, policy should be set in a way that is independent of all higher moments of those variables. Some exceptions to this rule have been pointed out by Smets (1998), who restricts policy to respond to only a limited subset of state variables, and by Orphanides (1998), who restricts policy to respond to estimates of the state variables that are biased. In contrast, this paper studies unrestricted, fully optimal policy rules with optimal estimation of state variables. The rules in this framework exhibit certainty equivalence with respect to estimates of an unobserved, possibly complicated, state of the economy X, but are not certainty-equivalent when 1) a signal-extraction problem is involved in the estimation of X, and 2) the optimal rule is expressed as a reduced form that combines policymakers' estimation and policy-setting stages. In general, I show that it is optimal for policymakers to attenuate their reaction coefficient on a variable about which uncertainty has increased, while responding more aggressively to all other variables, about which uncertainty hasn't changed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1085.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1085

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  1. 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.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  3. Arturo Estrella & Frederic Mishkin, 1998. "Rethinking the role of NAIRU in monetary policy: implications of model formulation and uncertainty," Research Paper 9806, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Volker Wieland, 1998. "Monetary policy and uncertainty about the natural unemployment rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2000-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Aaron Drew & Benjamin Hunt, 1999. "Efficient simple policy rules and the implications of potential output uncertainty," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G99/5, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Frank Smets, 2002. "Output gap uncertainty: Does it matter for the Taylor rule?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 113-129.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2000. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Working Paper Series 0015, European Central Bank.
  12. Stephen K. McNees, 1995. "Assessment of the "official" economic forecasts," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 13-23.
  13. 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.
  14. Svensson, Lars & Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Indicator Variables for Optimal Policy," Seminar Papers 688, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  15. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  16. Aoki, Kosuke, 2003. "On the optimal monetary policy response to noisy indicators," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 501-523, April.
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