IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Monetary Policy, Endogenous Inattention and the Volatility Trade-off

  • WilliamA. Branch
  • John Carlson
  • GeorgeW. Evans
  • Bruce McGough

This article considers the interaction of optimal monetary policy and agents' beliefs. We assume that agents choose their information acquisition rate by minimising a loss function that depends on expected forecast errors and information costs. "Endogenous inattention" is a Nash equilibrium in the information processing rate. Although a decline of policy activism directly increases output volatility, it indirectly anchors expectations, which decreases output volatility. If the indirect effect dominates then the usual trade-off between output and price volatility breaks down. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 534 (01)
Pages: 123-157

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:534:p:123-157
Contact details of provider: Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

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. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2003. "Drifts and volatilities: monetary policies and outcomes in the post WWII U.S," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2003-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. 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.
  5. John C. Williams & Athanasios Orphanides, 2004. "The Decline of Activist Stabilization Policy: Natural Rate Misperceptions, Learning, and Expectations," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 144, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," NBER Working Papers 9491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Consumers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 296-316, August.
  10. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Research Discussion Papers 29/2002, Bank of Finland.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2002-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1991. "Sticky Prices as Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 539-52, June.
  13. Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," NBER Working Papers 11820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Robert E. Hall, 1984. "Monetary strategy with an elastic price standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 137-167.
  15. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
  18. Christopher D. Carroll, 2003. "Macroeconomic Expectations Of Households And Professional Forecasters," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 269-298, February.
  19. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, July.
  20. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C45-61, May.
  21. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  22. Yetman, James, 2003. "Fixed prices versus predetermined prices and the equilibrium probability of price adjustment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 421-427, September.
  23. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  24. Evan F. Koenig, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in economies with "sticky-information" wages," Working Papers 0405, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  25. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  26. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  27. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  28. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  29. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  30. McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "The Present and Future of Monetary Policy Rules," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 273-86, July.
  31. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
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:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:534:p:123-157. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.