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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. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.).
  7. Marcet, A. & Nicolini, J.P., 1997. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," Papers 9721, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  8. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-97, June.
  9. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Coordination failures and the lender of last resort : was Bagehot right after all?," HWWA Discussion Papers 184, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 21-39.
  11. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation traps and discretion," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Stefania Albanesi & V.V.Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation traps and monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-02-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  14. 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.
  15. R. King & A. Wolman, 2003. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. 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.
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