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When is discretion superior to timeless perspective policymaking?

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  • Dennis, Richard

Abstract

The monetary policy literature assumes increasingly that policy is formulated according to the timeless perspective (Woodford, 1999a). However, by treating appropriately the auxiliary state variables that characterize the timeless perspective equilibrium when evaluating policy performance, this paper shows that discretionary policymaking can be superior to timeless perspective policymaking and identifies model features that make this outcome more likely. Using standard New Keynesian DSGE models, discretion is found to dominate timeless perspective policymaking when the price/wage Phillips curves are relatively flat, due, perhaps, to firm-specific capital (or labor) and/or Kimball (1995) aggregation in combination with nominal rigidities. These results suggest that studies applying the timeless perspective might also usefully compare its performance to discretion, paying careful attention to how policy performance is evaluated.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis, Richard, 2010. "When is discretion superior to timeless perspective policymaking?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 266-277, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:57:y:2010:i:3:p:266-277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
    2. Hahn, Volker, 2014. "An argument in favor of long terms for central bankers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 132-135.
    3. Jakob Palek, 2015. "The Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy Mix in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201506, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Carlsson, Mikael & Westermark, Andreas, 2011. "The New Keynesian Phillips Curve and staggered price and wage determination in a model with firm-specific labor," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 579-603, April.
    5. Palek, Jakob, 2015. "The Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy Mix in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113047, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Hans-Werner Wohltmann & Alexander Totzek, 2012. "Barro-Gordon Revisited: Reputational Equilibria in a New Keynesian Model," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 45(1), pages 27-50.
    7. Paez-Farrell, Juan, 2011. "Timeless perspective versus discretionary policymaking when the degree of inflation persistence is unknown," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2432-2438.
    8. Petrella, Ivan & Rossi, Raffaele & Santoro, Emiliano, 2014. "Discretion vs. timeless perspective under model-consistent stabilization objectives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 84-88.
    9. Petrella, Ivan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2011. "Input–output interactions and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1817-1830.
    10. Sunakawa, Takeki, 2015. "A quantitative analysis of optimal sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 119-135.
    11. Jensen, Christian, 2016. "Discretion Rather than Rules? Binding Commitments versus Discretionary Policymaking," MPRA Paper 76838, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Ivan Petrella & Raffaele Rossi & Emiliano Santoro, 2012. "Discretion vs. Timeless Perspective Policy-Making: the Role of Input-Output Interactions," Discussion Papers 12-20, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. Jochen Michaelis & Jakob Palek, 2014. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Union: Implications of a Country-specific Cost Channel," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201444, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    14. Lahcen, BOUNADER, 2016. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Behavioral New Keynesian Model," MPRA Paper 74743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Volker Hahn, 2014. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in a New Keynesian Model," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-14, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    16. Palek, Jakob & Schwanebeck, Benjamin, 2017. "Financial frictions and optimal stabilization policy in a monetary union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 462-477.
    17. Bilbiie, Florin O., 2014. "Delegating optimal monetary policy inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 63-78.
    18. Ivan Petrella & Raffaele Rossi & Emiliano Santoro, 2012. "Monetary Policy with Sectoral Linkages and Durable Goods," Discussion Papers 12-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    19. Paez-Farrell, Juan, 2014. "Resuscitating the ad hoc loss function for monetary policy analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 313-317.
    20. Subramanian, Chetan & Shin, Jong Kook, 2014. "Monetary Policy and Tobin Taxes: A Welfare Analysis," Staff General Research Papers Archive 37392, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    21. Sofía Bauducco & Rodrigo Caputo, 2010. "Price Level Targeting and Inflation Targeting: a Review," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 601, Central Bank of Chile.
    22. Scott, C. Patrick, 2016. "Asymmetric preferences and monetary policy deviations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 325-334.
    23. Bi, Huixin & Kumhof, Michael, 2011. "Jointly optimal monetary and fiscal policy rules under liquidity constraints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 373-389, September.

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