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Monetary policy and price stability

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  • Karen Johnson
  • David Small
  • Ralph Tryon
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    Abstract

    This paper explores issues that arise in implementing monetary policy under conditions of sustained price stability. We discuss several issues that concern the selection of a central bank's inflation objective under such conditions: price measurement; the behavior of other key variables, particularly wages; and the possible existence of other channels through which low inflation could change relationships within the real economy. We present a framework for analyzing monetary policy reaction functions that can illuminate the choices facing policy makers in a regime of price stability. The zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is a potential constraint on monetary policy when nominal interest rates are low on average, which will tend to be the case when long-term inflation is low. We summarize the results of research done at the Federal Reserve to clarify these issues for the United States and consider the availability and effectiveness of alternative policy tools when the nominal interest rate is at the zero bound.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 641.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:641

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    Keywords: Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance) ; Interest rates;

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    References

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    1. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    3. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Brian F. Madigan, 1997. "Monetary Policy When Interest Rates Are Bounded At Zero," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 573-585, November.
    4. Clark, Todd E, 1997. "Cross-country Evidence on Long-Run Growth and Inflation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 70-81, January.
    5. Judson, Ruth & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "Inflation, Volatility and Growth," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 117-38, April.
    6. Dale W. Henderson & Warwick J. McKibbin, 1993. "A comparison of some basic monetary policy regimes for open economies: implications of different degrees of instrument adjustment and wage persistence," International Finance Discussion Papers 458, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Summers, Lawrence, 1991. "How Should Long-Term Monetary Policy Be Determined? Panel Discussion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 625-31, August.
    8. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
    9. David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
    10. Robert Tetlow & John C. Williams, 1998. "Implementing price stability bands, boundaries and inflation targeting," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    11. Clouse James & Henderson Dale & Orphanides Athanasios & Small David H. & Tinsley P.A., 2003. "Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-65, September.
    12. Michael Sarel, 1996. "Nonlinear Effects of Inflation on Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 199-215, March.
    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. David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mervyn King, 1999. "Challenges for monetary policy : new and old," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-57.
    2. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Deflation: Prevention and Cure," NBER Working Papers 9623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Clouse James & Henderson Dale & Orphanides Athanasios & Small David H. & Tinsley P.A., 2003. "Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-65, September.
    4. Willem H Buiter & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 2000. "Liquidity traps: how to avoid them and how to escape them," Bank of England working papers 111, Bank of England.
    5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
    6. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The Zero-Interest Rate Bound and the Role of the Exchange Rate for Monetary Policy in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 3895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Günter Coenen & Volker W. Wieland, 2004. "Exchange-Rate Policy and the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 80-84, May.
    8. C.A. Ullersma, 2001. "The Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness: a Survey," MEB Series (discontinued) 2001-9, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.

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