IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

How robustness can lower the cost of discretion

  • Dennis, Richard

Model uncertainty has the potential to change importantly how monetary policy is conducted, making it an issue that central banks cannot ignore. Using a standard new Keynesian business cycle model, this paper analyzes the behavior of a central bank that conducts policy under discretion while fearing that its model is misspecified. The main results are as follows. First, policy performance can be improved if the discretionary central bank implements a robust policy. This important result is obtained because the central bank's desire for robustness directs it to assertively stabilize inflation, thereby mitigating the stabilization bias associated with discretionary policymaking. Second, the central bank's fear of model misspecification leads it to forecast future outcomes under the belief that inflation (in particular) will be persistent and have large unconditional variance, raising the probability of extreme outcomes. Private agents, however, anticipating the policy response, make decisions under the belief that inflation will be more closely stabilized, that is, more tightly distributed, than under rational expectations. Finally, as a technical contribution, the paper shows how to solve with robustness an important class of linear-quadratic decision problems.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBW-5093N8M-3/2/9cae4c88965e889495dfdfd39c0fe955
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 57 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
Pages: 653-667

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:57:y:2010:i:6:p:653-667
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of simple monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kuester, Keith & Wieland, Volker, 2005. "Insurance policies for monetary policy in the euro area," Working Paper Series 0480, European Central Bank.
  4. Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1994. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 182, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  6. Dennis, Richard & Soderstrom, Ulf, 2006. "How Important Is Precommitment for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 847-872, June.
  7. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2002. "Modeling model uncertainty," Discussion Papers 0203-05, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Kai Leitemo & Ulf Söderstrom, 2005. "Robust Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy," Working Papers 290, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Model Uncertainty and Policy Evaluation: Some Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 10916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J. & Turmuhambetova, Gauhar & Williams, Noah, 2006. "Robust control and model misspecification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 128(1), pages 45-90, May.
  11. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  12. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Carl Walsh, 2001. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 609, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Levin, Andrew & Wieland, Volker & Williams, John C., 2003. "The performance of forecast-based monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/06, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  15. Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
  16. John C. Williams & Andrew T. Levin, 2003. "Robust Monetary Policy with Competing Reference Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 291, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  18. 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).
  19. Thomas J. Sargent & Riccardo Colacito & Lars P. Hansen & Timothy Cogley, 2008. "Robustness and US Monetary," 2008 Meeting Papers 228, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Tillmann, Peter, 2009. "The stabilization bias and robust monetary policy delegation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 730-734, December.
  21. Dennis, Richard & Leitemo, Kai & Söderström, Ulf, 2006. "Methods for Robust Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 5638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  23. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  24. Batini, Nicoletta & Justiniano, Alejandro & Levine, Paul & Pearlman, Joseph, 2006. "Robust inflation-forecast-based rules to shield against indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1491-1526.
  25. Gilles Oudiz & Jeffrey Sachs, 1985. "International Policy Coordination in Dynamic Macroeconomic Models," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Policy Coordination, pages 274-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  27. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near Rational Expectations," NBER Working Papers 11896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J. & Wang, Neng E., 2002. "Robust Permanent Income And Pricing With Filtering," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 40-84, February.
  29. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  30. Richard Dennis & Kai Leitemo & Ulf Soderstrom, 2006. "Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy with a Preference for Robustness," Working Papers 316, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  31. Dennis, Richard & Ravenna, Federico, 2008. "Learning and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1964-1994, June.
  32. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2000. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  33. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  34. Epstein, Larry G & Wang, Tan, 1994. "Intertemporal Asset Pricing Under Knightian Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 283-322, March.
  35. Currie, David & Levine, Paul, 1986. "Time inconsistency and optimal policies in deterministic and stochastic worlds," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-2), pages 191-199, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:57:y:2010:i:6:p:653-667. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.