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Complexity and Monetary Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Athanasios Orphanides

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Volker Wieland

    (University of Frankfurt)

The complexity resulting from intertwined uncertainties regarding model misspecification and mismeasurement of the state of the economy defines the monetary policy landscape. Using the euro area as a laboratory, this paper explores the design of robust policy guides aiming to maintain stability in the economy while recognizing this complexity. We document substantial output-gap mismeasurement and make use of a new model database to capture the evolution of model specification. A simple interest rate rule is employed to interpret ECB policy since 1999. An evaluation of alternative policy rules across eleven models of the euro area confirms the fragility of policy analysis optimized for any specific model and shows the merits of model averaging in policy design. Interestingly, a simple difference rule with the same coefficients on inflation and output growth as the one used to interpret ECB policy is quite robust as long as it responds to current outcomes of these variables.

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

Volume (Year): 9 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 167-204

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2013:q:0:a:8
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ijcb.org/

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  1. Beck, Guenter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2008. "Central bank misperceptions and the role of money in interest-rate rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 1-17, October.
  2. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 3-12.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
  4. John B. Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2012. "Surprising Comparative Properties of Monetary Models: Results from a New Model Database," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 800-816, August.
  5. Keith Kuester & Volker Wieland, 2010. "Insurance Policies for Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 872-912, 06.
  6. Guenter Beck & Volker Wieland, 2008. "Central bank misperceptions and the role of money in interest rate rules," Working Paper Research 147, National Bank of Belgium.
  7. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
  8. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  9. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 2003. "The Performance of Forecast-Based Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 622-645, June.
  10. Wieland, Volker & Cwik, Tobias & Müller, Gernot J. & Schmidt, Sebastian & Wolters, Maik, 2012. "A new comparative approach to macroeconomic modeling and policy analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 523-541.
  11. Warne, Anders & Coenen, Günter & Christoffel, Kai, 2008. "The new area-wide model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 944, European Central Bank.
  12. Guenter W. Beck & Volker Wieland, 2007. "Money in Monetary Policy Design: A Formal Characterization of ECB-Style Cross-Checking," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 524-533, 04-05.
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  14. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2005. "A small estimated euro area model with rational expectations and nominal rigidities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1081-1104, July.
  15. Ratto, Marco & Roeger, Werner & Veld, Jan in 't, 2009. "QUEST III: An estimated open-economy DSGE model of the euro area with fiscal and monetary policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 222-233, January.
  16. Christoffel, Kai & Kuester, Keith & Linzert, Tobias, 2009. "The role of labor markets for euro area monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 908-936, November.
  17. ALISTAIR DIEPPE & KEITH KÜSTER & PETER McADAM, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy Rules for the Euro Area: An Analysis Using the Area Wide Model," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 507-537, 09.
  18. Adolfson, Malin & Laseen, Stefan & Linde, Jesper & Villani, Mattias, 2007. "Bayesian estimation of an open economy DSGE model with incomplete pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 481-511, July.
  19. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1071-1101, July.
  20. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  21. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: Some theory and empirics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 629-664, February.
  22. Robert M. Solow & Jean-Philippe Touffut (ed.), 2012. "What’s Right with Macroeconomics?," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15013.
  23. Dieter Gerdesmeier & Barbara Roffia, 2004. "Empirical Estimates of Reaction Functions for the Euro Area," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(I), pages 37-66, March.
  24. Andrea Gerali & Stefano Neri & Luca Sessa & Federico M. Signoretti, 2010. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE Model of the Euro Area," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 107-141, 09.
  25. Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2003. "Monetary rules for small, open, emerging economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1109-1146, July.
  26. 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.
  27. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
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