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Like a Good Neighbor: Monetary Policy, Financial Stability, and the Distribution of Risk

  • Evan F. Koenig

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and Southern Methodist University)

In an economy in which debt obligations are fixed in nominal terms, a monetary policy focused narrowly on controlling inflation insulates lenders from aggregate output risk, leaving borrowers as residual claimants. This concentration of risk has the potential to exacerbate the financial distress associated with adverse supply shocks. A better risk distribution is obtained if the price level is allowed to rise whenever output is unexpectedly weak. Illustrative examples are presented in which an appropriately countercyclical inflation policy exactly reproduces the risk allocation that one would observe with perfect capital markets.

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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): 2 (June)
Pages: 57-82

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2013:q:2:a:3
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  1. Robert E. Hall & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Nominal Income Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 71-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Eagle & Dale Domian, 2005. "Quasi-Real Indexing-- The Pareto-Efficient Solution to Inflation Indexing," Finance 0509017, EconWPA.
  3. Kevin D. Sheedy, 2013. "Debt and incomplete financial markets: a case for nominal GDP targeting," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51545, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  5. Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2006. "Inflation as a Redistribution Shock: Effects on Aggregates and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 5939, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Allan Crawford & C├ęsaire A. Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2009. "Price-Level Uncertainty, Price-Level Targeting, and Nominal Debt Contracts," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 33-43.
  7. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
  8. Ashoka Mody & Mark P. Taylor, 2003. "The High-Yield Spread as a Predictor of Real Economic Activity: Evidence of a Financial Accelerator for the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 50(3), pages 3.
  9. Bohn, Henning, 1988. "Why do we have nominal government debt?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 127-140, January.
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