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The role of expectations in economic fluctuations and the efficacy of monetary policy

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  • Kurz, Mordecai
  • Jin, Hehui
  • Motolese, Maurizio

Abstract

We show diverse beliefs is an important propagation mechanism of fluctuations, money non neutrality and efficacy of monetary policy. Since expectations affect demand, our theory shows economic fluctuations are mostly driven by varying demand not supply shocks. Using a competitive model with flexible prices in which agents hold Rational Belief (see Kurz (1994)) we show that (i) our economy replicates well the empirical record of fluctuations in the U.S. (ii) Under monetary rules without discretion, monetary policy has a strong stabilization effect and an aggressive anti-inflationary policy can reduce inflation volatility to zero. (iii) The statistical Phillips Curve changes substantially with policy instruments and activist policy rules render it vertical. (iv) Although prices are flexible, money shocks result in less than proportional changes in inflation hence the aggregate price level appears “sticky” with respect to money shocks. (v) Discretion in monetary policy adds a random element to policy and increases volatility. The impact of discretion on the efficacy of policy depends upon the structure of market beliefs about future discretionary decisions. We study two rationalizable beliefs. In one case, market beliefs weaken the effect of policy and in the second, beliefs bolster policy outcomes and discretion could be a desirable attribute of the policy rule. Since the central bank does not know any more than the private sector, real social gain from discretion arise only in extraordinary cases. Hence, the weight of the argument leads us to conclude that bank’s policy should be transparent and abandon discretion except for rare and unusual circumstances. (vi) An implication of our model suggests the current effective policy is only mildly activist and aims mostly to target inflation. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2003/42.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200342

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Keywords: Monetary policy rules; Money non neutrality; Business cycles; Market volatility; Propagation mechanism; Capacity utilization; Heterogenous beliefs; Over confidence; Rational Belief; Optimism; Pessimism; Non stationarity; Empirical distribution;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mordecai Kurz, 2007. "Rational Diverse Beliefs and Economic Volatility," Discussion Papers 06-045, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. William Branch & Bruce McGough, 2011. "Business cycle amplification with heterogeneous expectations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 395-421, June.
  3. Celentani, Marco & Conde-Ruiz, José Ignacio & Desmet, Klaus, 2004. "Inflation in Open Economies with Complete Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 4385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mordecai Kurz, 2011. "Symposium: on the role of market belief in economic dynamics, an introduction," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 189-204, June.
  5. Kyrtsou, Catherine & Malliaris, Anastasios G., 2009. "The impact of information signals on market prices when agents have non-linear trading rules," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 167-176, January.
  6. Francesco Caprioli & Pietro Rizza & Pietro Tommasino, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy when agents fear government default," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 859, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2010. "Monetary Policy and Heterogeneous Expectations," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-32, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  8. Mordecai Kurz & Maurizio Motolese, 2011. "Diverse beliefs and time variability of risk premia," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 293-335, June.
  9. Kurz, Mordecai & Piccillo, Giulia & Wu, Howei, 2013. "Modeling diverse expectations in an aggregated New Keynesian Model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1403-1433.
  10. Hiroyuki Nakata, 2007. "A Model of Financial Markets with Endogenously Correlated Rational Beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 431-452, March.
  11. Volker Wieland & Maik Wolters, 2011. "The diversity of forecasts from macroeconomic models of the US economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 247-292, June.
  12. Hiroyuki Nakata, 2013. "Welfare effects of short-sale constraints under heterogeneous beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 283-314, June.
  13. Schmidt, Sebastian & Wieland, Volker, 2013. "The New Keynesian Approach to Dynamic General Equilibrium Modeling: Models, Methods and Macroeconomic Policy Evaluation," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  14. Mordecai Kurz, 2005. "Measuring the Ex-Ante Social Cost of Aggregate Volatility," Discussion Papers 04-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Kurz, Mordecai, 2008. "Beauty contests under private information and diverse beliefs: How different?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(7-8), pages 762-784, July.

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