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Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century

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  • Robert G. King
  • Alexander L. Wolman

Abstract

Inflation targeting is a monetary policy rule that has implications for both the average performance of an economy and its business cycle behavior. We use a modern, rational expectations model to study the twin effects of this policy rule. The model highlights forward- looking consumption and labor supply decisions by households and forward-looking investment and price-setting decisions by firms. In it, monetary policy has real effects because imperfectly competitive firms are constrained to adjust prices only infrequently and satisfy all demand at posted prices. In this 'sticky price' model, there are also effects of the average rate of inflation on the amount of time that individuals must devote to shopping activity and on the average markup of price over cost that firms can charge. However, in terms of the welfare effects of long-run inflation, it is optimal to set monetary policy so that the nominal interest rate is close to zero, replicating in an imperfectly competitive model the result that Friedman found under perfect competition. A perfect inflation target has desirable effects on the response of the macroeconomy to permanent shocks to productivity and money demand. Under such a policy rule, the monetary authority makes the money supply evolve so a model with sticky prices behaves much like one with flexible prices.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5507.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
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Publication status: published as King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2013. "Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-574.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5507

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  1. Robert S. Chirinko, 1993. "Business fixed investment spending: a critical survey of modeling strategies, empirical results, and policy implications," Research Working Paper 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  2. Ball, Laurence, 1994. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price-Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 282-89, March.
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  14. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
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  16. Willem H. Buiter & Marcus H. Miller, 1983. "Costs and Benefits of an Anti-Inflationary Policy: Questions and Issues," NBER Working Papers 1252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Michael Woodford: Revolución y Evolución en la Macroeconomía del siglo XX
    by Enrique Bour in Foco Económico on 2011-03-16 12:00:00
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