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On the Sources of the Inflation Bias and Output Variability

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  • Gustavo Piga

    ()
    (University of Rome II)

Abstract

Why do dynamic inconsistencies in monetary policy exist? In this paper a traditional model without put inefficiencies is introduced, but monetary policy is allowed to be influenced by the various constituencies in the economy, that pressure Congress in turn to pressure the central bank to adopt a particular policy stance. The paper shows that in this economy an inflation bias arises due to the lobbying pressures of outsiders. Furthermore, it shows that if lobbying pressures are high enough, an inflation bias cannot be avoided for any finite level of central bank independence. It also shows that introducing the realistic feature of lobbying pressures has an impact on the stabilization properties of monetary policy. When a supply shock occurs, the shock is totally absorbed by a non myopic trade union which has no lobbying costs. This is independent of any finite degree of conservativeness of the central banker, who has to accept an extreme increase in price instability. It is shown that monetary policy delegation is therefore sub-optimal in achieving price-stability compared to labor-market reforms meant to remove monopsonistic elements. However, the same structural policies will induce greater output instability by strengthening the power of conservative central bankers

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 66.

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Length: 23
Date of creation: 04 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:66

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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  1. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
  2. Waller, Christopher J & VanHoose, David D, 1992. "Discretionary Monetary Policy and Socially Efficient Wage Indexation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1451-60, November.
  3. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  4. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-61, September.
  5. Fratianni, Michele & von Hagen, J├╝rgen & Waller, Christopher, 1993. "Central Banking as a Political Principal-Agent Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Karl Brunner, 1985. "The Poverty of Nations," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 5(1), pages 37-49, Spring/Su.
  8. Neiss, Katharine S, 1999. "Discretionary Inflation in a General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 357-74, August.
  9. Herrendorf, Berthold & Neumann, Manfred J.M., 1998. "The Political Economy of Inflation and Central Bank Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1787, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Piga, Gustavo, 2000. " Dependent and Accountable: Evidence from the Modern Theory of Central Banking," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(5), pages 563-95, December.
  11. Adam S. Posen, 1995. "Declarations Are Not Enough: Financial Sector Sources of Central Bank Independence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 253-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grier, Kevin B., 1991. "Congressional influence on U.S. monetary policy : An empirical test," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 201-220, October.
  13. Gottfries, Nils & Horn, Henrik, 1987. "Wage Formation and the Persistence of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 877-84, December.
  14. L. Pecchi & G. Piga, 1999. "The Politics of Index-Linked Bonds," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 201-212, 07.
  15. Waller, Christopher J, 1992. "The Choice of a Conservative Central Banker in a Multisector Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1006-12, September.
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