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The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy

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  • Jon Faust
  • Lars E.O. Svensson

Abstract

We examine a central bank's endogenous choice of degree of control and degree of transparency, under both commitment and discretion. Under commitment, we find that the deliberate choice of sloppy control is far less likely under a standard central-bank loss function than reported for a less standard loss function by Cukierman and Meltzer. Under discretion, maximum degree of control is the only equilibrium. With regard to the degree of transparency, under commitment, a sufficiently patient bank with sufficiently low average inflation bias will always choose minimum transparency. Under discretion, both minimum and maximum transparency are equilibria. We argue that discretion is the more realistic assumption for the choice of control and that commitment is more realistic for the choice of transparency. A maximum feasible degree of control with a minimum degree of transparency is then a likely outcome. The Bundesbank and the Federal Reserve System are, arguably, examples of this outcome.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7152.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Publication status: published as Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Vol. 34, no. 2 (May 2002): 520-539
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7152

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  1. Judd, Kenneth L., 1997. "Computational economics and economic theory: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 907-942, June.
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  3. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  17. 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.
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