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Central bank transparency and nonlinear learning dynamics

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  • Stefano Eusepi

Abstract

Central bank communication plays an important role in shaping market participants' expectations. This paper studies a simple nonlinear model of monetary policy in which agents have incomplete information about the economic environment. It shows that agents' learning and the dynamics of the economy are heavily affected by central bank transparency about its policy rule. A central bank that does not communicate its rule can induce "learning equilibria" in which the economy alternates between periods of deflation coupled with low output and periods of high economic activity with excessive inflation. More generally, initial beliefs that are arbitrarily close to the inflation target equilibrium can result in complex economic dynamics, resulting in welfare-reducing fluctuations. On the contrary, central bank communication of policy rules helps stabilize expectations around the inflation target equilibrium.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 342.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:342

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Keywords: Banks and banking; Central ; Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance) ; Inflation targeting ; Disclosure of information;

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References

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Evans, George W. & Guse, Eran & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Liquidity traps, learning and stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1438-1463, November.
  3. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," CDMA Working Paper Series 200802, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  4. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Policy interaction, expectations, and the liquidity trap," Working Paper 2003-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2003. "Backward-Looking Interest Rate Rules, Interest Rate Smoothing and Macroeconomic Instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3928, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 870-904, November.
  8. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 145-166, Fall.
  9. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
  10. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
  12. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," CEPR Discussion Papers 2948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2001. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-2), pages 40-69, January.
  14. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 2003. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1476-1498, December.
  15. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  16. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2007. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," Discussion Papers 0708-10, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  17. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1995. "Local Convergence of Recursive Learning to Steady States and Cycles in Stochastic Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 195-206, January.
  18. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Policy Options in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 76-79, May.
  19. James Bullard & In-Koo Cho, 2003. "Escapist policy rules," Working Papers 2002-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  20. Eusepi, Stefano, 2007. "Learnability and monetary policy: A global perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1115-1131, May.
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