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Are Central Bank Preferences Asymmetric? A Comment

  • Patrick Minford
  • Naveen Srinivasan

A recent paper by Ruge-Murcia (2004) on asymmetric central bank objectives provides a new perspective on the policy roots of inflation in developed economies. More precisely, the paper demonstrates that if the distribution of the supply shocks is normal, then the reduced-form solution for inflation implies a positive (or negative) relation between average inflation and the variance of shocks. We argue that the evidence offered in support of this hypothesis suffers from lack of identification because Phillips curve nonlinearity combined with quadratic central bank preferences yield the same reduced-form solution for inflation. If so, estimating reduced form for inflation will not be able to discriminate between these models. Yet they have quite different implications for policy. Other, structural, evidence is needed. Copyright 2008 The Authors Journal compilation 2008 Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.

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Article provided by Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA in its journal Economic Notes.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 119-126

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecnote:v:37:y:2008:i:1:p:119-126
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  1. Naveen Srinivasan & Vidya Mahambare & M. Ramachandran, 2006. "UK monetary policy under inflation forecast targeting: is behaviour consistent with symmetric preferences?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 706-721, October.
  2. Alex Cukierman & Stefan Gerlach, 2003. "The inflation bias revisited: theory and some international evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(5), pages 541-565, 09.
  3. Minford, Patrick & Srinivasan, Naveen, 2006. "Opportunistic monetary policy: An alternative rationalization," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(5-6), pages 366-372.
  4. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2004. "The inflation bias when the central bank targets the natural rate of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-107, February.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
  6. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.
  7. A. Robert Nobay & David A. Peel, 2003. "Optimal Discretionary Monetary Policy in a Model of Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 657-665, 07.
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