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Optimal Discretion

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  • Lengwiler, Yvan
  • Orphanides, Athanasios

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

Suggested Citation

  • Lengwiler, Yvan & Orphanides, Athanasios, 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:261-76
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    Cited by:

    1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
    2. 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.
    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.
    4. Beechey, Meredith & Österholm, Pär, 2018. "Point versus Band Targets for Inflation," Working Papers 2018:8, Örebro University, School of Business.
    5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
    6. Felipe Morandé L. & Mauricio Tejada G., 2009. "Persistent Supply Shocks: A Pain in the Neck for Central Banks?," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 12(3), pages 25-58, December.

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