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Supply or demand? Policy makers’ confusion in the presence of hysteresis

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  • Fatás, Antonio
  • Singh, Sanjay R.

Abstract

Policy makers need to separate between temporary demand-driven shocks and permanent shocks in order to design optimal aggregate demand policies. In this paper we study the case of a central bank that ignores the presence of hysteresis when identifying shocks. By assuming that all low-frequency output fluctuations are driven by permanent technology shocks, monetary policy is not aggressive enough in response to demand shocks. In addition, we show that errors in assessing the state of the economy can be self-perpetuating if seen through the lens of the mistaken views of the policy maker. We show that a central bank that mistakes a demand shock for a supply shock, will produce permanent effects on output through their suboptimal policies. Ex-post, the central bank will see an economy that resembles what they had forecast when designing their policies. The shock is indeed persistent and this persistence validates their assumption that the shock was a supply-driven one. The interaction between forecasts, policies and hysteresis creates the dynamics of self-perpetuating errors that is the focus of this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatás, Antonio & Singh, Sanjay R., 2024. "Supply or demand? Policy makers’ confusion in the presence of hysteresis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:161:y:2024:i:c:s0014292123002453
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2023.104617
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy; Endogenous growth; Output gap; Optimal policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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