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Controlling inflation after Bretton Woods: an analysis based on policy objectives

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  • William T. Gavin

Abstract

This paper reviews the inflation experience in the post-Bretton Woods era in the context of alternative central bankobjectives. It summarizes research on inflation-targeting issues, especially those associated with stabilizing the price level. Generally, inflation-targeting schemes do not provide a nominal anchor unless the central bank is focusing strictly on theinflation target and ignoring unemployment and the business cycle. Research summarized in this article suggests that themost important step a central bank can take to improve policy is to decide on a long-term path for the price level. Being explicit about the desired path for the price level not only reduces inflation variability at all horizons, but also gives the policymaker more flexibility to pursue output stabilization goals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2000-007.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in Inflation Targeting in Transition Economics: The Case of the Czech Republic. Czech National Bank and International Monetary Fund (Chapter 3)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2000-007

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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Monetary policy;

References

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  1. Cecchetti, Stephen G & McConnell, Margaret M & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel, 2002. "Policymakers' Revealed Preferences and the Output-Inflation Variability Trade-Off: Implications for the European System of Central Banks," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 596-618, Special I.
  2. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Price Level Targeting vs. Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," NBER Working Papers 5719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin, 2000. "What do New-Keynesian Phillips Curves imply for price-level targeting?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 21-30.
  4. John C. Williams, 1999. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  7. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
  8. Svensson, L.E.O., 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," Papers 595, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Richard Clarida & Mark Gertler, 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  12. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1998. "Policy rules and targets: framing the central banker's problem," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 1-14.
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