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Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy: what is wrong with McCallum and Nelson?

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  • Lars E. O. Svensson

Abstract

In their paper "Targeting versus Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy," McCallum and Nelson critique targeting rules for the analysis of monetary policy. Their arguments are rebutted here. First, McCallum and Nelson's preference to study the robustness of simple monetary policy rules is no reason at all to limit attention to simple instrument rules; simple targeting rules may have more desirable properties. Second, optimal targeting rules are a compact, robust, and structural description of goal-directed monetary policy, analogous to the compact, robust, and structural consumption Euler conditions in the theory of consumption. They express the very robust condition of equality of the marginal rates of substitution and transformation between the central bank's target variables. Indeed, they provide desirable micro foundations of monetary policy. Third, under realistic information assumptions, the instrument rule analog to any targeting rule that McCallum and Nelson have proposed results in very large instrument rate volatility and is also, for other reasons, inferior to a targeting rule.

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  • Lars E. O. Svensson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy: what is wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 613-626.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2005:i:sep:p:613-626:n:v.87no.5
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    Cited by:

    1. William B English & J David López-Salido & Robert J Tetlow, 2015. "The Federal Reserve’s Framework for Monetary Policy: Recent Changes and New Questions," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 63(1), pages 22-70, May.
    2. George Selgin, 2016. "Real and Pseudo Monetary Rules," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(2), pages 279-296, Spring/Su.
    3. Miguel Casares, 2006. "A close look at model-dependent monetary policy design," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 451-470.
    4. Glenn Otto & Graham Voss, 2009. "Strict and Flexible Inflation Forecast Targets: An Empirical Investigation," Department Discussion Papers 0902, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    5. Chengsi Zhang & Denise R. Osborn & Dong Heon Kim, 2008. "The New Keynesian Phillips Curve: From Sticky Inflation to Sticky Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 667-699, June.
    6. James Bullard & Eric Schaling, 2009. "Monetary Policy, Determinacy, and Learnability in a Two-Block World Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(8), pages 1585-1612, December.
    7. repec:eee:jmacro:v:54:y:2017:i:pa:p:42-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Richard T. Froyen & Alfred V. Guender, 2012. "Instrument versus Target Rules As Specifications of Optimal Monetary Policy," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 99-123, April.
    9. Belongia, Michael T. & Ireland, Peter N., 2017. "Circumventing the zero lower bound with monetary policy rules based on money," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 42-58.
    10. Peter Bofinger & Eric Mayer, 2006. "The Svensson versus McCallum and Nelson Controversy Revisited in the BMW Framework," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 585, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Lucjan T. Orlowski & Kirsten Lommatzsch, 2005. "Bond Yield Compression in the Countries Converging to the Euro," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp799, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    12. Ara Stepanyan & Era Dabla-Norris & Ashot Anatolii Mkrtchyan, 2009. "A New Keynesian Model of the Armenian Economy," IMF Working Papers 09/66, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Aleksandra Maslowska, 2009. "Using Taylor Rule to Explain Effects of Institutional Changes in Central Banks," Discussion Papers 46, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    14. Blake, Andrew P., 2012. "Determining optimal monetary speed limits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 269-271.
    15. Siklos, Pierre L., 2006. "Hungary's entry into the euro area: Lessons for prospective members from a monetary policy perspective," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 366-384, December.

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