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Committing and reneging: a dynamic model of policy regimes

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  • Joseph G. Haubrich
  • Joseph A. Ritter

Abstract

Actual policy decisions are made in real time and are not irrevocable. These observations are mundane, but most policy modeling has neglected them. We show that when policy is made in an environment of uncertainty, costs of switching policies give the option to wait positive value. This insight has several implications: First, the option to wait itself makes the incumbent regime relatively more attractive (compared to the traditional once-and-for-all analysis). Second, the option to wait means that increased uncertainty makes the incumbent regime more attractive. Third, because the commitment decision takes place in real time, policy choice displays hysteresis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1999-020.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1999-020

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Monetary theory;

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References

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  1. Mailath George J. & Mester Loretta J., 1994. "A Positive Analysis of Bank Closure," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 272-299, June.
  2. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1989. "Monetary Policy Strategies," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 612-632, September.
  3. Gerardo della Paolera & Alan M. Taylor, 2000. "Economic Recovery from the Argentine Great Depression: Institutions, Expectations, and the Change of Macroeconomic Regime," NBER Working Papers 6767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1980. "Gold Monetization and Gold Discipline," NBER Working Papers 0544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  6. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  7. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 125-42, January.
  8. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  10. Haubrich, Joseph G & Ritter, Joseph A, 2000. "Dynamic Commitment and Incomplete Policy Rules," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 766-84, November.
  11. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  12. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, 1996. "The Timing of Land Development: An Invariance Result," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1092-1097.
  13. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  14. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Carlos E. Zarazaga, 1995. "Argentina, Mexico, and currency boards: another case of rules versus discretion," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 14-24.
  16. 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. Beat Spirig & Rolf Weder, 2008. "To Wait or Not to Wait: Swiss EU-Membership as an Investment under Uncertainty," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(I), pages 85-114, March.
  2. Li, Jingyuan & Liu, Yongming & Tian, Guoqiang, 2009. "A reputation strategic model of monetary policy in continuous-time," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 523-533, December.

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