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Nonlinearity in monetary policy: A reconsideration of the opportunistic approach to disinflation

  • Marzo, Massimiliano
  • Strid, Ingvar
  • Zagaglia, Paolo

The proponents of the 'opportunistic' approach to disinflation suggest that, when inflation is close to the target, the central bank should not counteract inflationary pressures. Orphanides and Wilcox (2002) formalize this idea through a simple policy rule that prescribes a nonlinear adjustment to a history-dependent target for inflation. This embodies a regime change in monetary policy, which reacts to inflation only when this is far from the inflation target. Here we study the opportunistic approach in a New-Keynesian model with sizeable nominal and real rigidites in the form of a positive money demand and adjustment costs for investment. We find that the welfare gains delivered by the opportunistic rule arise from the time-varying inflation target, when welfare is measured by a quadratic approximation of household utility. The nonlinear zone of inaction on inflation improves welfare outcomes only when a central bank loss function with the absolute value of the output gap is used, as proposed by Orphanides and Wilcox (2002).

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Structural Change and Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 288-300

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Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:20:y:2009:i:4:p:288-300
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/525148

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  1. Bomfim, Antulio N & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 2000. "Opportunistic and Deliberate Disinflation under Imperfect Credibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 707-21, November.
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  3. Christopher A. Sims & Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim, 2003. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solution of Discrete Time Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 162, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Aksoy, Yunus & Orphanides, Athanasios & Small, David & Wieland, Volker & Wilcox, David, 2006. "A quantitative exploration of the opportunistic approach to disinflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1877-1893, November.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," Departmental Working Papers 200106, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  9. David Laidler, 2002. "Inflation Targets Versus International Monetary Integration - A Canadian Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 773, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  11. Trautwein, Hans-Michael, 2005. "Structural aspects of monetary integration: a global perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-6, March.
  12. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wilcox, David W, 2002. "The Opportunistic Approach to Disinflation," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 47-71, Spring.
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