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Optimal Taylor Rules in New Keynesian Models

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  • Christoph E. Boehm
  • Christopher L. House

Abstract

We analyze the optimal Taylor rule in a standard New Keynesian model. If the central bank can observe the output gap and the inflation rate without error, then it is typically optimal to respond infinitely strongly to observed deviations from the central bank’s targets. If it observes inflation and the output gap with error, the central bank will temper its responses to observed deviations so as not to impart unnecessary volatility to the economy. If the Taylor rule is expressed in terms of estimated output and inflation then it is optimal to respond infinitely strongly to estimated deviations from the targets. Because filtered estimates are based on current and past observations, such Taylor rules appear to have an interest smoothing component. Under such a Taylor rule, if the central bank is behaving optimally, the estimates of inflation and the output gap should be perfectly negatively correlated. In the data, inflation and the output gap are weakly correlated, suggesting that the central bank is systematically underreacting to its estimates of inflation and the output gap.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20237.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20237

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  1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
  3. Marc P. Giannoni, 2010. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules in a Forward-Looking Model, and Inflation Stabilization versus Price-Level Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 15986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: A General Approach," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000246, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, December.
  7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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