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Optimal monetary policy inertia

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  • Woodford, Michael
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    Abstract

    This paper considers the desirability of the observed tendency of central banks to adjust interest rates only gradually in response to changes in economic conditions. It shows, in the context of a simple model of optimizing private-sector behavior, that such inertial behavior on the part of the central bank may indeed be optimal, in the sense of minimizing a loss function that penalizes inflation variations, deviations of output from potential, and interest-rate variability. Sluggish adjustment characterizes an optimal policy commitment, even though no such inertia would be present in the case of a reputationless (Markovian) equilibrium under discretion. Optimal interest-rate feedback rules are also characterized, and shown to involve substantial positive coefficients on lagged interest rates. This provides a theoretical explanation for the numerical results obtained by Rotemberg and Woodford (1998) in their quantitative model of the U.S. economy. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 1999/09.

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    Date of creation: 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:199909

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    Keywords: monetary policy; interest-rate rules; gradualism; commitment;

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    References

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    1. Michael T. Kiley, 1998. "Monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips Curves, with an application to price level and inflation targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. 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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    25. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
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