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

Imperfect Knowledge, Adaptive Learning, and the Bias Against Activist Monetary Policies

  • Alberto Locarno

    (Research Department, Banca d'Italia and London School of Economics)

The paper studies the implications for the effectiveness of discretionary monetary policymaking of departing from the assumption of rational expectations. Society, whose welfare function is quadratic, can appoint a central banker whose preferences are either quadratic or lexicographic, to achieve the best mix of inflation and output stability. The focus on lexicographic preferences is justified on the grounds that they imply a strict ordering of policy objectives, which is typical of the mandate of several central banks. Both the private sector and the monetary policymaker have incomplete knowledge of the working of the economy and rely upon adaptive learning to form expectations and decide policy moves. The model economy is assumed to be subject to recurrent unobserved shifts, and the monetary authority, who has private information on the shocks hitting the economy, cannot credibly commit. The main finding of the paper is that when agents rely on an adaptive learning technology, a bias against activist policies arises. The paper also shows that when society has quadratic utility, a strategy based on a strict ordering of objectives is close to optimal for a wide range of values of the inflation aversion parameter.

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.ijcb.org/journal/ijcb07q3a2.pdf
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.ijcb.org/journal/ijcb07q3a2.htm
Download Restriction: no

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

Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 47-85

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2007:q:3:a:2
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ijcb.org/

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. Albert Marcet & Thomas J. Sargent, 1992. "Speed of convergence of recursive least squares learning with ARMA perceptions," Economics Working Papers 15, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 1999. "Inflation zone targeting," Working Paper Series 0008, European Central Bank.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2001. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-6, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 03 Aug 2001.
  5. Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Charles Goodhart & Margaret Bray, 2002. "You Might as Well be Hung for a Sheep as a Lamb: The Loss Function of an Agent," FMG Discussion Papers dp418, Financial Markets Group.
  7. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
  8. Frederic S. Mishkin & Niklas J. Westelius, 2008. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 557-582, 06.
  9. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  10. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  11. Buiter, Willem H., 2006. "How Robust is the New Conventional Wisdom? The Surprising Fragility of the Theoretical Foundations of Inflation Targeting and Central Bank Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5772, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Giuseppe Ferrero, 2004. "Monetary policy and the transition to rational expectations," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 19, Society for Computational Economics.
  13. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wilcox, David W, 2002. "The Opportunistic Approach to Disinflation," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 47-71, Spring.
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521671071 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Wiliam Branch & John Carlson & George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2004. "Monetary Policy, Endogenous Inattention, and the Volatility Trade-off," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-19, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 15 May 2007.
  17. Bray, Margaret, 1982. "Learning, estimation, and the stability of rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 318-339, April.
  18. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
  19. al-Nowaihi, Ali & Stracca, Livio, 2002. "Non-standard central bank loss functions, skewed risks, and certainty equivalence," Working Paper Series 0129, European Central Bank.
  20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521854863 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Driffill, John & Rotondi, Zeno, 2004. "Monetary Policy and Lexicographic Preference Ordering," CEPR Discussion Papers 4247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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:ijc:ijcjou:y:2007:q:3:a:2. 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: (Timo Laurmaa)

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.