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Inflation Range Targets with Hard Edges

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A number of inflation targeting central banks operate under provisions that allow for increased flexibility when faced with large supply shocks. These so-called escape clauses, however, are usually hard to interpret and discretionary in nature. This paper argues that a practical and more viable option is to specify a hard edged target range. Within the range, the central bank enjoys complete independence. Should, however, a large supply shock force inflation outside the range, the government may overrule the bank unless it adjusts its policy to address the government's concerns. Such an arrangement has the advantage of being easily understood and non-discretionary. Furthermore, it is shown that the bandwidth of the target range is inversely related to the degree of flexibility of the inflation targeting regime and thus, provides an easy way for the central bank to communicate its preferences to the public. The paper also discusses various determinants of the optimal design of the target range.

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Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 423.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:423

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Keywords: Inflation Range Targeting; Discretion; Escape Clauses;

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  1. 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.
  2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
  5. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy," Working Papers 626, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Laurence Ball & Niamh Sheridan, 2003. "Does Inflation Targeting Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Vittorio Corbo & Óscar Landerretche & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Make a Difference?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 5, pages 221-270 Central Bank of Chile.
  8. repec:nbr:nberwo:12876 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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.
  10. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A price target for U.S. monetary policy? Lessons from the experience with money growth targets," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Frederic S. Mishkin & Niklas J. Westelius, 2008. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 557-582, 06.
  12. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  13. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
  14. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Christopher J. Erceg, 2002. "The Choice of an Inflation Target Range in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 85-89, May.
  16. Robert Amano & Richard Black & Marcel Kasumovich, 1997. "A Band-Aid Solution to Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 97-11, Bank of Canada.
  17. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
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