IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Inflation Nutters? Modelling the Flexibility of Inflation Targeting

  • Libich Jan

    ()

    (La Trobe University)

Opponents of explicit inflation targeting (including ex-Chairman Greenspan) have argued that a commitment to a numerical inflation target is likely to reduce monetary policy flexibility, and hence increase output volatility. Our paper demonstrates that this claim may fail to account for the anchoring effect of explicit targets on expectations and wages—found in the data by a number of empirical studies. We do so in a novel, dynamic game theoretic framework with asynchronous moves that endogenizes the frequency of the private sector’s actions. We derive the conditions under which an explicit long-term inflation target makes the behaviour of private agents rationally inattentive and anchored. This is through enhancing monetary policy credibility, which leads private agents to reconsider expectations and wages less frequently to minimize the cost of processing information and/or wage negotiations. Such anchoring makes the policymaker’s interest rate instrument more effective in stabilization, giving it greater leverage over the real rate. This implies that an explicit inflation target may improve the variability tradeoff, i.e. shift the policy frontier inwards. It can therefore make both inflation and output less variable in equilibrium, unlike what inflation targeting sceptics argue. We show that our results are consistent with existing empirical evidence, and discuss them in light of the global financial crisis. The policy implication is that the Federal Reserve, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan, and the European Central Bank should be more explicitly committed to a long-run inflation target.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejm.2011.11.issue-1/bejm.2011.11.1.2298/bejm.2011.11.1.2298.xml?format=INT
Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-36

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:17
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejm

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jaromír Baxa & Roman Horváth & Borek Vasícek, 2010. "How Does Monetary Policy Change? Evidence on Inflation Targeting Countries," Working Papers wpdea1007, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  2. Andrea Tambalotti & Ernst Schaumburg, 2004. "An Investigation of the Gains from Commitment in Monetary Policy," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 282, Econometric Society.
  3. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 2010. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, 1: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Levine's Working Paper Archive 397, David K. Levine.
  4. David Backus & John Driffill, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 211-221.
  5. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," NBER Working Papers 7261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P.M., 2004. "How Transparent Are Central Banks?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  7. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Not Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 129-136, 03.
  8. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  9. Sargent, Thomas J., 1991. "Equilibrium with signal extraction from endogenous variables," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 245-273, April.
  10. Neumann, Manfred J. M. & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2002. "Does inflation targeting matter?," ZEI Working Papers B 01-2002, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  11. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Adam S. Posen, 1999. "Does talk matter after all? Inflation targeting and central bank behavior," Staff Reports 88, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum, 1996. "Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Antonio Fatas & Ilian Mihov & Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Quantitative Goals for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  16. Ricardo Reis, 2004. "Inattentive Consumers," Working Papers 135, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics.
  17. Francisco Javier Ruge-Murcia, 2001. "Inflation Targeting Under Asymmetric Preferences," IMF Working Papers 01/161, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsu, . ""Asynchronous Choice in Repeated Coordination Games''," CARESS Working Papres 96-10, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  19. Tobin, James, 1982. "Money and Finance in the Macroeconomic Process," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 171-204, May.
  20. Glenn Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0065, Econometric Society.
  21. Svensson, Lars E O, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  23. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
  24. Edwin M. Truman, 2003. "Inflation Targeting in the World Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 346, January.
  25. Cukierman, Alex & Gerlach, Stefan, 2003. "The Inflation Bias Revisited: Theory and Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  27. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  28. Pierre L. Siklos, 2004. "Central Bank Behavior, the Institutional Framework, and Policy Regimes: Inflation Versus Noninflation Targeting Countries," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 331-343, 07.
  29. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," NBER Working Papers 6452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Targeting vs. instrument rules for monetary policy," Working Papers 2004-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  31. Feige, Edgar L & Pearce, Douglas K, 1976. "Economically Rational Expectations: Are Innovations in the Rate of Inflation Independent of Innovations in Measures of Monetary and Fiscal Policy?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 499-522, June.
  32. 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.
  33. Frederic S. Mishkin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2001. "One Decade of Inflation Targeting in the World: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?," NBER Working Papers 8397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  35. Corbo, Vittorio & Landerretche, Oscar & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 2001. "Assessing Inflation Targeting after a Decade of World Experience," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 343-68, October.
  36. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  37. Arestis, Philip & Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Cipollini, Andrea, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Affect the Trade-Off between Output Gap and Inflation Variability?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 528-45, Special I.
  38. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  39. In-Koo Cho & Akihiko Matsui, 2005. "Time Consistency In Alternating-Move Policy Games," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 273-294.
  40. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
  41. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2005. "Expectations, learning and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1807-1808, November.
  42. Christopher D. Carroll & Johns Hopkins University, 2006. "Sticky Expectations and Consumption Dynamics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 21, Society for Computational Economics.
  43. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-13, May.
  44. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  45. Marvin Goodfriend, 2004. "Inflation Targeting in the United States?," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 311-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 117-127, 03.
  47. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  48. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  49. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Jan Libich, 2007. "Fiscal-monetary Interactions: The Effect of Fiscal Restraint and Public Monitoring on Central Bank Credibility," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 559-576, November.
  50. Blinder, Alan S, 1997. "Is There a Core of Practical Macroeconomics That We Should All Believe?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 240-43, May.
  51. Jan Libich, 2009. "A Note on the Anchoring Effect of Explicit Inflation Targets," CAMA Working Papers 2009-21, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  52. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 225-245.
  53. Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2007. "Incorporating Rigidity In The Timing Structure Of Macroeconomic Games," CAMA Working Papers 2007-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  54. V. Bhaskar, 2002. "On Endogenously Staggered Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 97-116.
  55. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.