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Optimal Discretion

  • Lengwiler, Yvan
  • Orphanides, Athanasios

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. Copyright 2002 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 261-76

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:104:y:2002:i:2:p:261-76
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  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
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  4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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