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Inflation-Forecast-Based Rules and Indeterminacy: A Puzzle and a Resolution

  • Paul Levine

    (University of Surrey)

  • Peter McAdam

    (European Central Bank)

  • Joseph Pearlman

    (London Metropolitan University)

We examine an interesting puzzle in monetary economics between what monetary authorities claim (namely, to be forward looking and preemptive) and the poor stabilization properties routinely reported for forecast-based rules. Our resolution is that central banks should be viewed as following 'Calvo-type' inflation-forecast-based (IFB) interest rate rules that depend on a discounted sum of current and future rates of inflation. Such rules might be regarded as both within the legal frameworks and potentially mimicking central bankers' practice. We find that Calvo-type IFB interest rate rules are, first, less prone to indeterminacy than standard rules with a finite forward horizon. Second, in difference form, the indeterminacy problem disappears altogether. Third, optimized forms have good stabilization properties as they become more forward looking, a property that sharply contrasts that of standard IFB rules. Fourth, they appear data coherent when incorporated into a well-known estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model of the euro area.

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

Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 77-110

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2007:q:4:a:3
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  1. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  2. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Svensson, Lars E O, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Judgement: Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  8. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
  9. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 2000. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 7490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  11. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  12. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. De Fiore, Fiorella & Liu, Zheng, 2002. "Openness and equilibrium determinacy under interest rate rules," Working Paper Series 0173, European Central Bank.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521104609 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Nicoletta Batini & Joseph Pearlman, 2002. "Too Much Too Soon: Instability and Indeterminacy with Forward-Looking Rules," Discussion Papers 08, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  16. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  17. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:85-110 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Nicoletta Batini & Alejandro Justiniano & Paul Levine & Joseph Pearlman, 2004. "Robust Inflation-Forecast-Based Rules to Shield against Indeterminacy," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0804, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
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