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Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria

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  • Jess Benhabib

    ()
    (New York University)

  • Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

  • Martin Uribe

    ()
    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

In this paper, we characterize conditions under which interest rate feedback rules that set the nominal interest rate as an increasing function of the inflation rate induce aggregate instability by generating multiple equilibria. We show that these conditions depend not only on the monetary-fiscal regime (as emphasized in the fiscal theory of the price level) but also on the way in which money is assumed to enter preferences and technology. We provide a number of examples in which, contrary to what is commonly believed, active monetary policy in combination with a fiscal policy that preserves government solvency under all circumstances gives rise to multiple equilibria, and passive monetary policy renders the equilibrium unique. Our general conclusion holds in flexible- and sticky-price environments as well as under backward- or forward-looking interest rate feedback rules.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 199914.

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Date of creation: 23 Sep 1999
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Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:199914

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Keywords: Interest rate feedback rules; multiple equilibria; sticky prices;

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References

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  1. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of simple monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  4. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
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  13. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "The perils of Taylor Rules," Departmental Working Papers 199831, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  14. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  20. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2000. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Departmental Working Papers 199925, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  21. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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