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Is Time Ripe for Price Level Path Stability?

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  • Vítor Gaspar
  • Frank Smets
  • David Vestin

Abstract

In the paper, we provide a critical and selective survey of arguments relevant for the assessment of the case for price level path stability (PLPS). Using a standard hybrid new Keynesian model we argue that price level stability provides a natural framework for monetary policy under commitment. There are two main arguments in favour of a PLPS regime. First, it helps overall macroeconomic stability by making expectations operate like automatic stabilizers. Second, under a price level path stability regime, changes in the price level operates like an intertemporal adjustment mechanism, reducing the magnitude of required changes in nominal interest rates. Such a property is particularly relevant as a means to alleviate the importance of the zero bound on nominal interest rates. We also review and discuss the arguments against price level path stability. Finally, we also found, using the Smets and Wouters (2003) model which includes a wide variety of frictions and is estimated for the euro area, that the price level is stationary under optimal policy under commitment. The results obtain when the quasi-difference of inflation is used in the loss function, as in the hybrid new Keynesian model. Overall, the arguments in favour of or against price level path stability depend on the degree of dependence of private sector expectations on the characteristics of the monetary policy regime.Key words: Price Level Stability, Expectations, Adaptive Learning

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200719.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200719

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Billi, 2008. "Price-level targeting and risk management in a low-inflation economy," Research Working Paper RWP 08-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  2. Sofía Bauducco B. & Rodrigo Caputo G, 2011. "Metas de Nivel de Precios y Metas de Inflación: Una Revisión de la Literatura," Notas de Investigación Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 14(1), pages 55-67, April.
  3. Iulian Vasile Popescu, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting – A Viable Alternative To Inflation Targeting?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4, pages 809-823, December.
  4. Yaz Terajima & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Cesaire Meh, 2008. "Aggregate and Welfare Effects of Redistribution of Wealth Under Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," 2008 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Andreas Beyer & Vitor Gaspar & Christina Gerberding & Otmar Issing, 2008. "Opting Out of the Great Inflation: German Monetary Policy After the Break Down of Bretton Woods," NBER Working Papers 14596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard C.K. Burdekin & Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2012. "Irving Fisher and Price‐Level Targeting in Austria: Was Silver the Answer?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 733-750, 06.
  7. Hatcher, Michael C., 2011. "Comparing inflation and price-level targeting: A comprehensive review of the literature," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/22, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  8. Loisel, O., 2005. "Central Bank Reputation in a Forward-Looking Model," Working papers 127, Banque de France.
  9. Marc P. Giannoni, 2012. "Optimal interest rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization," Staff Reports 546, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Jiri Bohm & Jan Filacek & Ivana Kubicova & Romana Zamazalova, 2011. "Price-Level Targeting - A Real Alternative to Inflation Targeting?," Research and Policy Notes 2011/01, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  11. Robert S. Gazzale & Jared C Carbone, 2011. "A Shared Sense of Responsibility: Money Versus Effort Contributions in the Vountary Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  12. Kenneth Kuttner & Adam Posen, 2011. "How Flexible Can Inflation Targeting Be and Still Work?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-10, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Sep 2011.
  13. Gino Cateau, 2009. "Optimal Policy under Commitment and Price Level Stationarity," Working Papers 09-8, Bank of Canada.
  14. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Michael R. Pakko, 2012. "Taylor-type rules and total factor productivity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 41-64.

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