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Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting

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  • Svensson, Lars O

Abstract

"Forecast targeting", forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the U.S. economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A complicated infinite-horizon central-bank projection model of the economy can be closely approximated by a simple finite system of linear equations, which is easily solved for the optimal policy projections. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank’s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 819.

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Date of creation: 08 Feb 2005
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Publication status: Published in International Journal of Central Banking Number 1.Volume(2005): pp. 1-54
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:819

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Keywords: Inflation targeting; optimal monetary policy; forecasts;

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  1. Svensson, Lars E O & Williams, Noah, 2007. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 6331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Trends and Random Walks in Macroeconomic Time Series: A Re-examination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 661-80, August.
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  10. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 117-144.
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  14. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2004. "Targeting Rules vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy: What is Wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," NBER Working Papers 10747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Lars E.O. Svensson & Kjetil Houg & Haakon O.Aa. Solheim & Erling Steigum, 2002. "An Independent Review of Monetary Policy and Institutions in Norway," Working Papers 120, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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