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Optimal Monetary Policy When Agents Are Learning

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  • Krisztina Molnár
  • Sergio Santoro

Abstract

Most studies of optimal monetary policy under learning rely on optimality conditions derived for the case when agents have rational expectations. In this paper, we derive optimal monetary policy in an economy where the Central Bank knows, and makes active use of, the learning algorithm agents follow in forming their expectations. In this setup, monetary policy can influence future expectations through its e ect on learning dynamics, introducing an additional tradeo between inflation and output gap stabilization. Specifically, the optimal interest rate rule reacts more aggressively to out-of-equilibrium inflation expectations and noisy cost-push shocks than would be optimal under rational expectations: the Central Bank exploits its ability to "drive" future expectations closer to equilibrium. This optimal policy closely resembles optimal policy when the Central Bank can commit and agents have rational expectations. Monetary policy should be more aggressive in containing inflationary expectations when private agents pay more attention to recent data. In particular, when beliefs are updated according to recursive least squares, the optimal policy is time-varying: after a structural break the Central Bank should be more aggressive and relax the degree of aggressiveness in subsequent periods. The policy recommendation is robust: under our policy the welfare loss if the private sector actually has rational expectations is much smaller than if the Central Bank mistakenly assumes rational expectations whereas in fact agents are learning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series IEHAS Discussion Papers with number 0601.

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Date of creation: 15 Mar 2006
Date of revision: 15 Mar 2006
Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0601

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Keywords: Optimal Monetary Policy; Learning; Rational Expectations;

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References

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  1. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060, August.
  2. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  3. 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.
  4. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," CFS Working Paper Series 2005/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  5. Marcet, Albert & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 1875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Christopher J. Erceg and Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect Credibility and Inflation Persistence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824.
  8. F. Brayton & P. Tinsley, 1996. "A guide to FRB/US: a macroeconomic model of the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Adaptive Learning, Persistence, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 376-385, 04-05.
  10. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  11. Fabio Milani, 2005. "A Bayesian DSGE Model with Infinite-Horizon Learning: Do "Mechanical" Sources of Persistence Become Superfluous?," Working Papers 060703, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  12. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Interpreting Inflation Persistence: Comments on the Conference on "Quantitative Evidence on Price Determination"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 203-210, 02.
  13. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
  14. Slobodyan, Sergey & Wouters, Raf, 2012. "Learning in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-46.
  15. Ferrero, Giuseppe, 2007. "Monetary policy, learning and the speed of convergence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3006-3041, September.
  16. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2004. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," International Finance Discussion Papers 804, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Pablo Andres Neumeyer & Fernando Alvarez & Pat Kehoe, 2003. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Department of Economics Working Papers 005, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  18. Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2004. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 291, Society for Computational Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2008. "Expectations, Learning, And Monetary Policy: An Overview Of Recent Research," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 501, Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "Productivity growth, transparency, and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 329-344.
  3. Alberto Locarno, 2012. "Monetary policy in a model with misspecified, heterogeneous and ever-changing expectations," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 888, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00609824 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Christian Jensen, 2006. "Expectations, Learning, and Discretionary Policymaking," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.
  6. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet, 2011. "Internal Rationality, Imperfect Market Knowledge and Asset Prices," CEP Discussion Papers dp1068, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  8. Martin Melecky & Diego Rodríguez Palenzuela & Ulf Söderström, 2008. "Inflation Target Transparency and the Macroeconomy," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 490, Central Bank of Chile.
  9. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2009. "Internal Rationality and Asset Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 7498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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