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Optimal Discretion

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  • Yvan Lengwiler
  • Athanasios Orphanides

Abstract

We investigate the desirability of adopting a rule in favor of discretionary monetary policy in a model exhibiting Kydland and Prescott's dynamic inconsistency problem but no fundamental incompatibility between the policymaker's price stability and full employment objectives. We show that if discretion provides a policy flexibility benefit, then a rule is optimal only when inflation exceeds an endogenously determined threshold. This gives rise to a discretionary policy zone for inflation with the central bank taking more drastic action towards stabilizing inflation when inflation veers outside the zone. Imperfect credibility narrows the scope for discretion and enhances the benefits of adopting a rule. JEL classification: E58; D82; C72

Suggested Citation

  • Yvan Lengwiler & Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Optimal Discretion," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(2), pages 261-276, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:104:y:2002:i:2:p:261-276
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9442.00285
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2005. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 498-527, April.
    2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
    3. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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