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Managing disinflation under uncertainty

  • Tesfaselassie, M.F.
  • Schaling, E.

In this paper we analyze disinflation policy when a central bank has imperfect information about private sector inflation expectations but learns about them from economic outcomes, which are in part the result of the disinflation policy itself. The form of uncertainty is manifested as uncertainty about the effect of past disinflation policy on the current output gap. This differs from other studies on learning and control in a monetary policy context (e.g., [Ellison, 2006] and [Svensson and Williams, 2007]) that assume uncertainty about the effects of current policy actions on the economy. We derive the central bank's optimal disinflation strategy under active learning (DOP) and compare it with two limiting cases--certainty equivalence policy (CEP), or passive learning, and a Brainard-style cautionary monetary policy (CP). It turns out that under the DOP inflation stays between the levels implied by the CEP and the CP. A novel result--e.g., unlike Beck and Wieland (2002)--is that this holds irrespective of the initial level of inflation. At high levels of inherited inflation the DOP moves closer to the CEP, at low levels of inherited inflation the DOP resembles the CP.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 34 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2568-2577

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:34:y:2010:i:12:p:2568-2577
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Schaling, Eric & Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2006. "Learning About the Term Structure and Optimal Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5896, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  3. Antulio N. Bomfim & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Opportunistic and deliberate disinflation under imperfect credibility," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Schaling, Eric, 2003. "Learning, inflation expectations and optimal monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 20/2003, Bank of Finland.
  5. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 501-534, April.
  6. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1988. "The Fate of Systems with "Adaptive" Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 168-72, May.
  7. Volker Wieland, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Benefits from U.S. monetary policy experimentation in the days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Williams, Noah, 2006. "Bayesian and adaptive optimal policy under model uncertainty," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Nyarko, Yaw, 1989. "Optimal Control of an Unknown Linear Process with Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(3), pages 571-86, August.
  11. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1991. "Learning, Experimentation and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1991018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  12. Ellison, Martin, 2003. "The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts, 2010. "Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Learning to Believe in Disinflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 23-42, April.
  14. Pu Chen & Carl Chiarella & Peter Flaschel & Willi Semmler, 2006. "Keynesian Macrodynamics and the Phillips Curve. An Estimated Baseline Macromodel for the U.S. Economy," Working Paper Series 147, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  15. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Controlling a Stochastic Process with Unknown Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1045-64, September.
  16. James Yetman, 2000. "Probing Potential Output: Monetary Policy, Credibility And Optimal Learning Under Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 181, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Beck, Gunter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Learning and control in a changing economic environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1359-1377, August.
  18. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
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