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Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency

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  • Francesco Bianchi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Leonardo Melosi

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Abstract

We develop a theoretical framework to quantitatively assess the general equilibrium effects and welfare implications of central bank reputation and transparency. Monetary policy alternates between periods of active inflation stabilization and periods during which the emphasis on inflation stabilization is reduced. When the central bank only engages in short deviations from active monetary policy, inflation expectations remain anchored and the model captures the monetary approach described as constrained discretion. However, if the central bank deviates for a prolonged period of time, agents gradually become pessimistic about future monetary policy, the disanchoring of inflation expectations occurs, and uncertainty rises. Reputation determines the speed with which agents’' pessimism accelerates once the central bank starts deviating. When the model is fitted to U.S. data, we find that the Federal Reserve can accommodate contractionary technology shocks for up to five years before inflation expectations take off. Increasing transparency would improve welfare by anchoring agents’ expectations. Gains from transparency are even more sizeable for countries whose central banks have weak reputation

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 13-041.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:13-041

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Related research

Keywords: Bayesian learning; reputation; uncertainty; inflation expectations; Markov-switching models; impulse response;

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References

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2007. "Macroeconomic Modeling for Monetary Policy Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 13542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  4. Bianchi, Francesco, 2008. "Regime switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," MPRA Paper 24251, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2010.
  5. Timothy Cogley & Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone, 2011. "Optimal disinflation under learning," Staff Reports 524, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  8. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  9. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  10. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
  11. Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Nicoletti-Altimari, Sergio, 2003. "Definition of price stability, range and point inflation targets: the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations," Working Paper Series 0273, European Central Bank.
  12. Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Signaling Effects of Monetary Policy," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
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Cited by:
  1. Bianchi, Francesco & Melosi, Leonardo, 2013. "Modeling the Evolution of Expectations and Uncertainty in General Equilibrium," Working Paper Series WP-2013-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Signaling Effects of Monetary Policy," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Leonardo Melosi & Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," 2012 Meeting Papers 44, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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