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A policymaker confronts uncertainty


  • William Poole


This article is a reprint of a speech given by William Poole, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to the St. Louis Gateway Chapter of the National Association for Business Economics. In today's environment economic uncertainties abound both abroad and at home. In this article the author discusses the five categories of uncertainty facing today's policymakers: 1) the data; 2) future events, shocks and disturbances; 3) how the economy works; 4) market reactions to Fed policy; and 5) market anticipations of Fed policy. Poole also discusses the Federal Reserve's role in dealing with each of these uncertainties and today's policy environment.

Suggested Citation

  • William Poole, 1998. "A policymaker confronts uncertainty," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:1998:i:sep:p:3-8:n:5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-334, June.
    2. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
    3. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
    4. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    5. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678-678.
    6. 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. Soderstrom, Ulf, 2002. " Monetary Policy with Uncertain Parameters," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 125-145.
    2. 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.
    3. James Yetman, 2005. "Discretionary Policy, Potential Output Uncertainty, and Optimal Learning," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2005/07, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    4. Mariusz Gorajski, 2016. "Robust monetary policy in a linear model of the polish economy: is the uncertainty in the model responsible for the interest rate smoothing effect?," Lodz Economics Working Papers 1/2016, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology.

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    Monetary policy - United States;


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