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Learning about monetary policy rules

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  • James Bullard
  • Kaushik Mitra

Abstract

We study macroeconomic systems with forward-looking private sector agents and a monetary authority that is trying to control the economy through the use of a linear policy feedback rule. A typical finding in the burgeoning literature in this area is that policymakers should be relatively aggressive in responding to available information about the macroeconomy (more aggressive than they appear to be in reality). A natural question to ask about this result is whether policy responses which are too aggressive might actually destabilize the economy. We use stability under recursive learning a la Evans and Honkapohja 1999a as a criterion for evaluating monetary policy rules in this context. We find that considering learning can substantially alter the evaluation of model economies in some situations. We also find that a certain type of rule is robustly associated with both determinacy and learnability. This is an active, Taylor-type rule, with only a small positive reaction to variables other than inflation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2000-001.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics, September 2002, 49(6), pp. 1105-29
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2000-001

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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Macroeconomics ; Taylor's rule;

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References

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 1999. "Taylor rules in a limited participation model," Working Paper 9902, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice: two critical points : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-220, December.
  4. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  5. Carlstrom, Charles T. & Fuerst, Timothy S., 2001. "Timing and real indeterminacy in monetary models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 285-298, April.
  6. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2000. "Forward-looking versus backward-looking Taylor rules," Working Paper 0009, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
  8. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2001. "Real Indeterminacy in Monetary Models with Nominal Interest Rate Distortions," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(4), pages 767-789, October.
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  14. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
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  16. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
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  20. Svensson, Lars, 1999. "How Should Monetary Policy Be Conducted in an Era of Price Stability," Seminar Papers 680, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  21. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
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  23. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2001. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-6, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 03 Aug 2001.
  24. Michael T. Kiley, 1998. "Monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips Curves, with an application to price level and inflation targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
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  31. Howitt, Peter, 1992. "Interest Rate Control and Nonconvergence to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 776-800, August.
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  35. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1994. "Learning, convergence, and stability with multiple rational expectations equilibria," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1071-1098, May.
  36. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Bernanke: Inflation Expectations and Inflation Forecasting
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2007-07-10 20:08:00
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