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The Present and Future of Monetary Policy Rules

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

To consider the prospects, looking 20-30 years into the future, for monetary policymaking in accordance with policy rules, one must evaluate their present importance. That requires some definition of what constitutes rule-based monetary policy in practice, since no actual central bank will ever be literally bound by any simple formula (or any strict optimal control scheme). Consideration of the rules-versus-discretion literature, plus more recent analysis by Woodford (1999), indicates that rule-based policy is conducted to satisfy relationships specified from a timeless perspective.' Given this conception, it seems reasonably clear that today's prominent regimes (e.g., inflation targeting) do largely represent rule-based policymaking. Whether these will prevail into the future will depend in part on political trends, but their fundamental soundness gives room for hope. Regarding the effects of a gradually diminishing role of money, it would appear that the feasibility and attractiveness of rule-based policymaking will not be seriously impaired so long as a tangible medium of exchange has some importance, even if small. In the complete absence of monetary transactions, there would be no monetary policy of any type, rule-based or discretionary. But it seems highly unlikely that money will disappear in the foreseeable future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7916.

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Date of creation: Sep 2000
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Publication status: published as McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "The Present and Future of Monetary Policy Rules," International Finance, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 273-86, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7916

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  1. Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World," Seminar Papers 632, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Willem H. Buiter, 1998. "The Young Person's Guide to Neutrality, Price Level Indeterminacy, Interest Rate Pegs, and Fiscal Theories of the Price Level," NBER Working Papers 6396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," CEPR Discussion Papers 1511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy Through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 4229, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  6. Jensen, Henrik, 1999. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army with Only a Signal Corps?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 321-38, November.
  8. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  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. Agustín G. Cartens & Alejandro M. Werner, 2000. "Mexico's Monetary Policy Framework Under a Floating Exchange Rate Regime," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(2), pages 113-165, July-Dece.
  11. Joel Bogdanski & Alexandre Antonio Tombini & Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa Werlang, 2000. "Implementing Inflation Targeting in Brazil," Working Papers Series 1, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  12. Goodfriend, M. & King, R.G., 1988. "Financial Deregulation, Monetary Policy, And Central Banking," RCER Working Papers 121, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew G Haldane, 1999. "Forward-looking rules for monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 91, Bank of England.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  15. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  16. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, July.
  17. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: Lessons from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 6126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Leonardo Leiderman & Hadas Bar-Or, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Transmission Mechanisms Under Inflation Targeting in Israel," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 71, Central Bank of Chile.
  19. McCallum, Bennett T., 1985. "Bank deregulation, accounting systems of exchange, and the unit of account: A critical review," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 13-45, January.
  20. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army With Only a Signal Corps," NBER Working Papers 7420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  22. Charles Goodhart, 2000. "Can Central Banking Survive the IT Revolution?," FMG Special Papers sp125, Financial Markets Group.
  23. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1980. "Rules, Discretion, and the Role of the Economic Advisor," NBER Chapters, in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 199-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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