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Testing Commitment Models of Monetary Policy: Evidence from OECD Economies

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  • Doyle, Matthew
  • Falk, Barry L.

Abstract

Inflation rates in a number of OECD follow a common trend over the past four decades: inflation starts out low in the 1960s, rises for a time before peaking in the 1970s or early 1980s, and then falls back to initial levels. This similarity in the behavior of trend inflation suggests that any explanation of long run inflation trends ought to apply across OECD countries. Ireland (1999) shows that a simple time inconsistency model of monetary policy, modified to allow for a time-varying NAIRU, can explain long run trends in U.S. inflation. In this paper we show that this result cannot serve as an explanation of the common trend in OECD inflation, as it fits the data only in the U.S.. We investigate two important variants of the hypothesis: i) that time inconsistency was an important component of central bank behavior in earlier decades, but has become less significant in recent years, and ii) that time inconsistency problems drive U.S. inflation, which affects inflation rates in other countries as a result of central bankers' attempts to manage nominal exchange rate movements vis a vis the U.S. dollar. We find that the first hypothesis fits the data no better than the baseline model. We find some support for the international spillovers version of the model, but the behavior of non-U.S. central bankers with respect to domestic unemployment rates is not well described by the time inconsistency mechanism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 11995.

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Date of creation: 13 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11995

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: monetary policy; inflation; time incosistency;

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  1. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2003. "Does the Barro-Gordon model explain the behavior of US inflation? A reexamination of the empirical evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1375-1390, September.
  2. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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  5. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
  6. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Temple, Jonathan, 1998. "Central bank independence and inflation: good news and bad news," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 215-219, November.
  8. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  9. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  10. Allan w. Gregory & Bruce E. Hansen, 1992. "residual-Based Tests for Cointegration in Models with Regime Shifts," Working Papers 862, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  11. Cukierman, A., 1999. "The Inflation Bias Result Revisited," Papers 38-99, Tel Aviv.
  12. Lane, Philip R., 1997. "Inflation in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 327-347, May.
  13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  14. Brumm, Harold J, 2000. "Inflation and Central Bank Independence: Conventional Wisdom Redux," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 807-19, November.
  15. 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.
  16. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1984. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
  18. Temple, Jonathan, 2002. "Openness, Inflation, and the Phillips Curve: A Puzzle," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 450-68, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthew Doyle & Barry Falk, 2009. "Do Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences Help Explain Observed Inflation Outcomes?," Working Papers 0902, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2009.
  2. Sudhanshu Kumar & Naveen Srinivasan & Muthiah Ramachandran, 2012. "A time-varying parameter model of inflation in India," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 25-50, April.
  3. Alfred A. Haug & Ian P. King, 2011. "Empirical Evidence on Inflation and Unemployment in the Long Run," Working Papers 1109, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2011.

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