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Keeping Up with the Joneses and the Welfare Effects of Monetary Policy

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  • Juha Tervala

    ()
    (Aboa Centre for Economics and University of Turku)

Abstract

This paper examines the implications of "keeping up with the Joneses" preferences (jealousy) for the welfare effects of monetary policy. I develop a New Keynesian model, where households are jealous and the central bank follows the Taylor rule. I show that the welfare effects of monetary policy over time depend significantly on the relative strength of the consumption externality caused by jealousy and the monopolistic distortion. If jealousy (the monopolistic distortion) dominates, then a decrease in the interest rate reduces (increases) welfare in the short run, but increases (reduces) welfare in the medium run.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Aboa Centre for Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 65.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp65

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Keywords: Monetary policy; jealousy; consumption externality;

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  2. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 2002. "Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 121, Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  4. Christian Pierdzioch & Serkan Yener, 2004. "On the Welfare Effects of Monetary Policy When Households Try to Keep Up with the Rest of the World," Kiel Working Papers 1198, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  6. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  7. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  8. Ireland, N. J., 2001. "Optimal income tax in the presence of status effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 193-212, August.
  9. Howarth, Richard B., 2006. "Optimal environmental taxes under relative consumption effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 209-219, June.
  10. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  12. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  13. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2004. "Does monetary policy keep up with the Joneses? Optimal interest-rate smoothing with consumption externalities," International Finance Discussion Papers 812, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
  15. Christian Pierdzioch, 2003. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Implications for the Welfare Effects of Monetary Policy in Open Economies," Kiel Working Papers 1166, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
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