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Commitment of Monetary Policy with Uncertain Central Bank Preferences

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In this paper we analyse the equilibrium degree of commitment in monetary policy to an independent central banker whose preferences are imperfectly observed by private agents. We characterize the incentive compatible strategies by a central bank in office for two periods with no restrictions on its type space. The equilibrium level of commitment is also characterized. We show that when incentive compatibility constraints are binding for a non trivial subset of types of central banks the equilibrium level of commitment involves bunching: different types of rational governments commit monetary policy to similar institutions.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 117.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:117

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Keywords: monetary policy; delegation; signalling games.;

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  1. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  2. Bennett T. McCallum, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1998. "Limit Pricing and Entry Under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Levine's Working Paper Archive 245, David K. Levine.
  4. Sibert, Anne, 2001. "Monetary Policy With Uncertain Central Bank Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3113, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  6. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  7. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy," Working Papers 626, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Credibility and politics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 542-550, March.
  11. Fershtman, Chaim & Kalai, Ehud, 1997. "Unobserved Delegation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(4), pages 763-74, November.
  12. Vickers, John, 1986. "Signalling in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(3), pages 443-55, November.
  13. Mailath, George J, 1987. "Incentive Compatibility in Signaling Games with a Continuum of Types," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1349-65, November.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & Gatti, Roberta, 1995. "Independent Central Banks: Low Inflation at No Cost?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 196-200, May.
  15. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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