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Managing Disinflation under Uncertainty

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  • Mewael F. Tesfaselassie
  • Eric Schaling

Abstract

In this paper we analyze disinflation policy when a central bank has imperfect information about private sector inflation expectations but learns about them from economic outcomes, which are in part the result of the disinflation policy itself. The form of uncertainty is manifested as uncertainty about the effect ofpastdisinflation policy on the current output gap. This differs from other studies on learning and control in a monetary policy context (e.g. Ellison (2006) and Svensson and Williams (2007)) that assume uncertainty about the effects of current policy actions on the economy. We derive the central bank's optimal disinflation strategy under active learning (DOP) and compare it with two limiting cases - certainty equivalence policy (CEP), or passive learning, and a Brainard-style cautionary monetary policy (CP). It turns out that under the DOP inflation stays between the levels implied by the CEP and the CP. A novel result - e.g. unlike Beck and Wieland (2002)| is that this holds irrespective of the initial level of inflation. At high levels of inherited inflation the DOP moves closer to the CEP, at low levels of inherited inflation the DOP resembles the CP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 145.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:145

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Related research

Keywords: Learning; Inflation Expectations; Disinflation Policy; Separation Principle; Kalman Filter; Optimal Control; Dynamic Programming;

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References

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  1. Volker Wieland, 1996. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Wieland, Volker, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," ZEI Working Papers B 09-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. Beck, Gunter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Learning and control in a changing economic environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1359-1377, August.
  4. Mewael F. Tesfaselassie & Eric Schaling & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2011. "Learning about the Term Structure and Optimal Rules for Inflation Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(8), pages 1685-1706, December.
  5. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1988. "The Fate of Systems with "Adaptive" Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 168-72, May.
  6. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Williams, Noah, 2006. "Bayesian and adaptive optimal policy under model uncertainty," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
  8. Yetman, James, 2003. "Probing potential output: Monetary policy, credibility, and optimal learning under uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 311-330, September.
  9. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts, 2010. "Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Learning to Believe in Disinflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 23-42, April.
  10. Antulio N. Bomfim & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Opportunistic and deliberate disinflation under imperfect credibility," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  12. Schaling, Eric, 2003. "Learning, inflation expectations and optimal monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 20/2003, Bank of Finland.
  13. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Nyarko, Yaw, 1989. "Optimal Control of an Unknown Linear Process with Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(3), pages 571-86, August.
  14. Ellison, Martin, 2003. "The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Controlling a Stochastic Process with Unknown Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1045-64, September.
  16. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Inflation Targeting, Credibility, and Non-Linear Taylor Rules," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201235, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Mewael F. Tesfaselassie, 2008. "Central Bank Learning and Monetary Policy," Kiel Working Papers 1444, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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