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Monetary Policy with Judgment: Forecast Targeting

  • Lars E O Svensson

    (Princeton University)

"Forecast targeting", forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the U.S. economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A complicated infinite-horizon central-bank projection model of the economy can be closely approximated by a simple finite system of linear equations, which is easily solved for the optimal policy projections. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank’s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit.

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Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2005:q:2:a:1
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  1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
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  3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  9. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Lars E. O. Svensson & Robert J. Tetlow, 2005. "Optimal policy projections," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  21. Walsh, Carl E, 2004. "Robustly Optimal Instrument Rules and Robust Control: An Equivalence Result," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-13, December.
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  23. Lars E.O. Svensson & Kjetil Houg & Haakon O.Aa. Solheim & Erling Steigum, 2002. "An Independent Review of Monetary Policy and Institutions in Norway," Working Papers 120, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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