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

Inflation targeting under imperfect knowledge

  • Athanasios Orphanides
  • John C. Williams

A central tenet of inflation targeting is that establishing and maintaining well-anchored inflation expectations are essential. In this paper, we reexamine the role of key elements of the inflation targeting framework towards this end, in the context of an economy where economic agents have an imperfect understanding of the macroeconomic landscape within which the public forms expectations and policymakers must formulate and implement monetary policy. Using an estimated model of the U.S. economy, we show that monetary policy rules that would perform well under the assumption of rational expectations can perform very poorly when we introduce imperfect knowledge. We then examine the performance of an easily implemented policy rule that incorporates three key characteristics of inflation targeting: transparency, commitment to maintaining price stability, and close monitoring of inflation expectations, and find that all three play an important role in assuring its success. Our analysis suggests that simple difference rules in the spirit of Knut Wicksell excel at tethering inflation expectations to the central bank’s goal and in so doing achieve superior stabilization of inflation and economic activity in an environment of imperfect knowledge.

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.frbsf.org/economic-research/publications/economic-review/2007/er1-23.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2007)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 1-23

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:2007:p:1-23
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 7702, San Francisco, CA 94120-7702
Phone: (415) 974-2000
Fax: (415) 974-3333
Web page: http://www.frbsf.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


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, 2001. "The performance of forecast-based monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P.A., 2005. "What do you expect? Imperfect policy credibility and tests of the expectations hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 421-447, March.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  4. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2003-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Marvin Goodfriend, 2004. "Inflation Targeting in the United States?," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 311-352 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  9. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of operational policy rules in an estimated semi-classical structural model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  10. John C Williams & Athanasios Orphanides, 2005. "Robust Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 400, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 80, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: Lessons from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 6126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 841, Society for Computational Economics.
  18. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Macroeconomics 9907006, EconWPA.
  19. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  20. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Working Papers 050608, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  21. Gaspar, Vitor & Smets, Frank, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Price Stability and Output Gap Stabilization," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 193-211, Summer.
  22. Gaspar, Vítor & Smets, Frank & Vestin, David, 2006. "Adaptive learning, persistence, and optimal monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0644, European Central Bank.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 402-432, April.
  25. John C. Williams, 2004. "Robust estimation and monetary policy with unobserved structural change," Working Paper Series 2004-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  26. Alex Cukierman & Francesco Lippi, 2003. "Endogenous Monetary Policy with Unobserved Potential Output," CEIS Research Paper 26, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  27. John M. Roberts, 1994. "Is inflation sticky?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 152, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  28. Athanasios Orphanides amd John Williams, 2001. "Monetary Policy with Imperfect Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 254, Society for Computational Economics.
  29. John P. Judd & Brian Motley, 1992. "Controlling inflation with an interest rate instrument," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-22.
  30. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  31. Clark, Todd E. & Kozicki, Sharon, 2005. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 395-413, December.
  32. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Forward-Looking Behavior and the Stability of a Conventional Monetary Policy Rule," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1060-70, November.
  33. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1989. "The effect of changes in the federal funds rate target on market interest rates in the 1970s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, November.
  34. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
  35. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  36. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 117-144.
  37. Victor Zarnowitz & Phillip Braun, 1993. "Twenty-two Years of the NBER-ASA Quarterly Economic Outlook Surveys: Aspects and Comparisons of Forecasting Performance," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 11-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew Haldane, 1999. "Forward-Looking Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 157-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, June.
  40. N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Do Long-Term Interest Rates Overreact to Short-Term Interest Rates?," NBER Working Papers 1345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  42. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "The conquest of South American inflation," Working Paper 2006-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  43. Timothy Cogley, 2005. "Changing Beliefs and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: Cross-Equation Restrictions with Drifting Parameters," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 420-451, April.
  44. Dean Croushore, 1993. "Introducing: the survey of professional forecasters," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-15.
  45. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  46. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  47. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Term structure views of monetary policy under alternative models of agent expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 149-184, January.
  48. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  49. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
  50. 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.
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:fip:fedfer:y:2007:p:1-23. 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: (Diane Rosenberger)

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.