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Optimal monetary policy in an economy with sticky nominal wages


  • Evan F. Koenig


In this article, Evan Koenig derives the optimal monetary policy rule for an economy with contractual wage agreements. The optimal rule has the monetary authority target a weighted average of aggregate output and the price level. In a realistic special case, the optimal rule calls for the monetary authority to target aggregate nominal spending. The optimal rule is quite general in form, encompassing policy proposals made by such prominent economists as Robert Hall and John Taylor. ; Koenig points out that if the monetary authority responds optimally to economic shocks, it will be difficult to distinguish the effects of monetary policy from the effects of the shocks themselves. So, the important contribution that monetary policy makes to the economy may easily be overlooked. Paradoxically, only insofar as monetary policy is implemented with error will it be apparent that monetary policy matters.

Suggested Citation

  • Evan F. Koenig, 1995. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with sticky nominal wages," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 24-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1995:i:qii:p:24-31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    2. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    3. Card, David, 1990. "Unexpected Inflation, Real Wages, and Employment Determination in Union Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 669-688, September.
    4. Ball, Laurence & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1994. "A sticky-price manifesto," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 127-151, December.
    5. Bean, Charles R, 1983. "Targeting Nominal Income: An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 806-819, December.
    6. Robert E. Hall, 1984. "Monetary strategy with an elastic price standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 137-167.
    7. McLaughlin, Kenneth J., 1994. "Rigid wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 383-414, December.
    8. Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Money and Business Cycle with One-Period Nominal Contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 638-659, August.
    9. 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 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheila Dolmas & Mark A. Wynne & Jahyeong Koo, 1997. "Rolling recessions," Southwest Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 1-4.
    2. Evan F. Koenig, 1997. "Is the Fed slave to a defunct economist," Southwest Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 5-8.
    3. Guender, Alfred V., 2002. "Optimal and efficient monetary policy rules in a forward-looking model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 41-49, March.
    4. Stephen D. Prowse, 1997. "Corporate financing and governance: an international perspective," Southwest Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 9-10.
    5. Lori L. Taylor, 1997. "Regional update," Southwest Economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 1-11.
    6. Brown, Stephen P. A. & Yucel, Mine K., 2002. "Energy prices and aggregate economic activity: an interpretative survey," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 193-208.
    7. Koenig, Evan F., 2011. "Monetary policy, financial stability, and the distribution of risk," Working Papers 1111, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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    Monetary policy ; Wages;


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