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The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment

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  • Jensen, Christian
  • McCallum, Bennett T.

Abstract

Several recent papers have usefully emphasized the inefficiency that arises from discretionary monetary policymaking, relative to optimal policy from a 'timeless perspective,' in macroeconomic models with forward-looking private behavior. The inefficiency in question is in terms of average outcomes of the conditional expectation of a policy objective that reflects the discounted present value of current and future period losses (which involve squared deviations of inflation and output from specified target levels). In the literature, most of the analysis has been conducted in an optimizing model that features a Calvo-Rotemberg price adjustment equation that includes a 'cost-push' shock term. This literature suggests that policy, which keeps inflation equal to a negative multiple of the change in the output gap, is optimal with respect to the criterion mentioned above -- the unconditional expectation of the policymaker's objective function. Results reported here show, however, that this is not the case -- that an alternative policy rule, suggested by the approach of 'policy design' rather than by 'optimal control,' delivers superior results.
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Suggested Citation

  • Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:77:y:2002:i:2:p:163-168
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    1. Carl Walsh, 2003. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 265-278, March.
    2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bennett McCallum, 1999. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion in Rational Expectations Models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 621-639, November.
    5. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 19-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. 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.
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    17. Michael Woodford, 2000. "Pitfalls of Forward-Looking Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 100-104, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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