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Discretionary monetary policy and inflation persistence

  • Westelius, Niklas J.

Rational expectations models of staggered price/wage contracts have failed to replicate the observed persistence in inflation and unemployment during disinflation periods. The current literature on this persistency puzzle has focused on augmenting the nominal contract model with imperfect credibility and learning. In this paper, I re-examine the persistency puzzle by focusing on the discretionary nature of monetary policy. I show that when the central bank is allowed to re-optimize a quadratic loss function each period, imperfect credibility and learning, even in the absence of staggered contracts, can generate a significant amount of inflation persistence and employment losses during a disinflationary period.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 52 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 477-496

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:52:y:2005:i:2:p:477-496
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Laurence Ball, 1993. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Working Papers 4306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 2003. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 1-30, February.
  3. Huh, Chan G. & Lansing, Kevin J., 2000. "Expectations, credibility, and disinflation in a small macroeconomic model," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 51-86.
  4. Ball, Laurence, 1994. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price-Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 282-89, March.
  5. Laurence Ball, 1992. "Disinflation With Imperfect Credibility," NBER Working Papers 3983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-59, February.
  7. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  9. Christopher J. Erceg and Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect Credibility and Inflation Persistence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  11. John B. Taylor, 1982. "Union Wage Settlements During a Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 0985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ireland, Peter N., 1995. "Optimal disinflationary paths," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1429-1448, November.
  13. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  14. Edmund Phelps, 1978. "Disinflation without recession: Adaptive guideposts and monetary policy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 114(4), pages 783-809, December.
  15. John B. Taylor, 1998. "Staggered Price and Wage Setting in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 6754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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