IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bejmac/v11y2011i1n17.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Inflation Nutters? Modelling the Flexibility of Inflation Targeting

Author

Listed:
  • Libich Jan

    () (La Trobe University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Libich Jan, 2011. "Inflation Nutters? Modelling the Flexibility of Inflation Targeting," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-36, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://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 search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov & Andrew K. Rose, 2007. "Quantitative Goals for Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1163-1176, August.
    4. 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 343-368, October.
    5. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-113, May.
    6. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-397, May.
    7. McCallum, Bennett T., 1997. "Crucial issues concerning central bank independence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 99-112, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
    10. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    11. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 402-432, April.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Kuttner, Kenneth N. & Posen, Adam S., 1999. "Does talk matter after all? Inflation targeting and central bank behavior," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/04, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    15. 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.
    16. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 117-127, March.
    17. 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.
    18. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
    19. Baxa, Jaromír & Horváth, Roman & Vašíček, Bořek, 2014. "How Does Monetary Policy Change? Evidence On Inflation-Targeting Countries," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(03), pages 593-630, April.
    20. 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.
    21. 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, September.
    22. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
    23. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J, 2003. " Inflation Targeting under Asymmetric Preferences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 763-785, October.
    24. Roger Lagunoff & Akihiko Matsui, 1997. "Asynchronous Choice in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1467-1478, November.
    25. Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Geraats, Petra M., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
    26. 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.
    27. 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.
    28. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    29. 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.
    30. 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.
    31. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2004. "Why the Federal Reserve Should Not Adopt Inflation Targeting," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 129-136, March.
    32. Edwin M. Truman, 2003. "Inflation Targeting in the World Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 346.
    33. 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.
    34. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 597-612.
    35. 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.
    36. Christopher D. Carroll & Johns Hopkins University, 2006. "Sticky Expectations and Consumption Dynamics," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 21, Society for Computational Economics.
    37. 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.
    38. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
    39. 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.
    40. Manfred J. M. Neumann & Jurgen Von Hagen, 2002. "Does inflation targeting matter?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 127-148.
    41. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 597-612.
    42. Libich, Jan, 2009. "A Note On The Anchoring Effect Of Explicit Inflation Targets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 685-697, November.
    43. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    44. 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.
    45. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, I: Overview and Quantity Competition with Large Fixed Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 549-569, May.
    46. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
    47. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.
    48. 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, July.
    49. 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 240-243, May.
    50. 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.
    51. V. Bhaskar, 2002. "On Endogenously Staggered Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 97-116.
    52. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    53. 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 528-545, Special I.
    54. 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 473-491, June.
    55. 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.
    56. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Michal Franta & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2012. "Tracking Monetary-Fiscal Interactions across Time and Space," CAMA Working Papers 2012-40, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2010. "Incorporating rigidity and commitment in the timing structure of macroeconomic games," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 767-781, May.
    3. Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2011. "Endogenous monetary commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 103-106, July.
    4. Libich, Jan & Nguyen, Dat Thanh & Stehlík, Petr, 2015. "Monetary exit and fiscal spillovers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 184-206.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.