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Optimal Inflation for the US Economy

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  • Roberto M. Billi

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal long-run inflation rate (OIR) in a small New Keynesian model, where the only policy instrument is a short-term nominal interest rate that may occasionally run against a zero lower bound (ZLB). The model allows for worst-case scenarios of misspecification. The analysis shows first, if the government optimally commits, the OIR is below 1 percent annually. Second, if the government re-optimizes each period, the OIR rises markedly to 17 percent. Third, if the government commits only to an inertial Taylor rule, the inflation bias is eliminated at very low cost in terms of welfare for the representative household. (JEL E12, E31, E43, E52, E58)

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:29-52
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.3.29
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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