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Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near Rational Expectations

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  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

The paper considers optimal monetary stabilization policy in a forward-looking model, when the central bank recognizes that private-sector expectations need not be precisely model-consistent, and wishes to choose a policy that will be as good as possible in the case of any beliefs that are close enough to model-consistency. The proposed method offers a way of avoiding the assumption that the central bank can count on private-sector expectations coinciding precisely with whatever it plans to do, while at the same time also avoiding the equally unpalatable assumption that the central bank can precisely model private-sector learning and optimize in reliance upon a precise law of motion for expectations. The main qualitative conclusions of the rational-expectations analysis of optimal policy carry over to the weaker assumption of near-rational expectations. It is found that commitment continues to be important for optimal policy, that the optimal long-run inflation target is unaffected by the degree of potential distortion of beliefs, and that optimal policy is even more history-dependent than if rational expectations are assumed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11896.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Publication status: published as Woodford, Michael. “An Example of Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations.” Journal of the European Economics Association 4, 2-3 (2006): 386-395.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11896

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  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824, October.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1406-1435, July.
  3. Tomasz Strzalecki, 2011. "Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 47-73, 01.
  4. Walsh, Carl E, 2004. "Robustly Optimal Instrument Rules and Robust Control: An Equivalence Result," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-13, December.
  5. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 80, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 9884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2005. "Robust estimation and control under commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 258-301, October.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Robustly optimal monetary policy with near-rational expectations," Discussion Papers 0506-13, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 12, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
  11. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  13. Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2009. "Ramsey Taxation and fear of misspecification," 2009 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Michael Woodford, 2006. "An Example of Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 386-395, 04-05.
  15. Svec, Justin, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with robust control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 349-368.
  16. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
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