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Can U.S. monetary policy fall (again) into an expectation trap?

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  • Roc Armenter
  • Martin Bodenstein

Abstract

We provide a tractable model to study monetary policy under discretion. We restrict our analysis to Markov equilibria. We find that for all parametrizations with an equilibrium inflation rate of about 2 percent, there is a second equilibrium with an inflation rate just above 10 percent. Thus, the model can simultaneously account for the low and high inflation episodes in the United States. We carefully characterize the set of Markov equilibria along the parameter space and find our results to be robust, suggesting that expectation traps are more than just a theoretical curiosity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 229.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:229

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Keywords: Equilibrium (Economics) ; Inflation (Finance) ; Rational expectations (Economic theory) ; Monetary policy;

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 2000. "The Expectations Trap Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 7809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper Series 0343, European Central Bank.
  3. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  5. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 1995. "Recurrent hyperinflations and learning," Economics Working Papers 244, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2001.
  6. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 1999. "Coordination Risk and the Price of Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1241R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2002.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. Jean-Charles Rochet & Xavier Vives, 2002. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," FMG Discussion Papers dp408, Financial Markets Group.
  11. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0201004, EconWPA.
  12. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Roc Armenter & Martin Bodenstein, 2006. "Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?," International Finance Discussion Papers 865, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  15. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectations, traps and discretion," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  16. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
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