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

Imperfect transparency and shifts in the central bank's output gap target

Listed author(s):
  • Westelius, Niklas J.

In the New Keynesian framework, the public's expectation about the future path of monetary policy is an important determinant of current economic conditions. This paper examines the impact of unobservable shifts in the central bank's output gap target on inflation and output dynamics. I show that when the degree of persistence of a shock is private information of the central bank, and policy is discretionary in nature, it is optimal for the central bank not to reveal the future expected path of the output gap target. Perfect transparency unambiguously increases inflation and output volatility and thus lowers welfare.

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.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165-1889(08)00209-1
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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 Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 985-996

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:985-996
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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. 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.
  2. Alex Cukierman, 2002. "Are contemporary central banks transparent about economic models and objectives and what difference does it make?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-36.
  3. Frederic S Mishkin, 2004. "Can Central Bank Transparency Go Too Far?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Simon Guttmann (ed.), The Future of Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
  5. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  6. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
  7. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2002. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 520-539, May.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Timeless perspective vs. discretionary monetary policy in forward-looking models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 43-56.
  9. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2003. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1611-1638, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Westelius, Niklas J., 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 477-496, March.
  14. Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation targeting and optimal monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-42.
  15. Frederic S. Mishkin & Niklas J. Westelius, 2008. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 557-582, 06.
  16. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The interest rate conditioning assumption," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Petra M. Geraats, 2007. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 37-80, March.
  18. Jensen, Henrik, 2002. " Optimal Degrees of Transparency in Monetary Policymaking," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(3), pages 399-422, September.
  19. 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.
  20. Seth B. Carpenter, 2004. "Transparency and monetary policy: what does the academic literature tell policymakers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  22. Aoki, Kosuke, 2006. "Optimal commitment policy under noisy information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 81-109, January.
  23. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The Interest Rate Conditioning Assumption," FMG Discussion Papers dp547, Financial Markets Group.
  24. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Andrew Blake, 2001. "A Timeless Perspective on Optimality in Forward-Looking Rational Expectations Models," NIESR Discussion Papers 188, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  26. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Indicator variables for optimal policy under asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 661-690, January.
  27. Geraats Petra M., 2005. "Transparency and Reputation: The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, February.
  28. Gerlach-Kristen, Petra, 2006. "Monetary policy committees and interest rate setting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 487-507, February.
  29. Walsh, Carl E, 2003. " Accountability, Transparency, and Inflation Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 829-849, October.
  30. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
  31. Dotsey, Michael & Hornstein, Andreas, 2003. "Should a monetary policymaker look at money?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 547-579, 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:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:4:p:985-996. 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: (Dana Niculescu)

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.