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Timeless perspective policymaking: When is discretion superior?

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  • Richard Dennis

Abstract

In this paper I show that discretionary policymaking can be superior to timeless perspective policymaking and identify model features that make this outcome more likely. Developing a measure of conditional loss that treats the auxiliary state variables that characterize the timeless perspective equilibrium appropriately, I use a New Keynesian DSGE model to show that discretion can dominate timeless perspective policymaking when the Phillips curve is relatively flat, due, perhaps, to firm-specific capital (or labor) and/or Kimball (1995) aggregation in combination with nominal price rigidity. These results suggest that studies applying the timeless perspective might also usefully compare its performance to discretion, paying careful attention to how policy performance is evaluated.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008-21.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2008-21

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Keywords: Monetary policy;

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  1. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
  2. Andrea Tambalotti & Ernst Schaumburg, 2004. "An Investigation of the Gains from Commitment in Monetary Policy," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 282, Econometric Society.
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  15. Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
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  20. Christopher A. Sims & Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim, 2003. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solution of Discrete Time Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 162, Society for Computational Economics.
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  22. Richard Dennis, 2003. "Inferring policy objectives from economic outcomes," Working Paper Series 2003-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 2007. "Estimating the frequency of price re-optimization in Calvo-style models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2032-2047, October.
  24. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  25. 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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Cited by:
  1. Juan Paez-Farrell, 2009. "Timeless perspective vs discretionary policymaking when the degree of inflation persistence is unknown," Discussion Paper Series 2009_14, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2009.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2010. "Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 16654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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