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Is Optimal Monetary Policy Always Optimal?

Author

Listed:
  • Troy Davig

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Refet S. Gürkaynak

    (Bilkent University, CEPR, CFS, and CESifo)

Abstract

In a world with multiple inefficiencies, the single policy tool the central bank has control over will not undo all inefficiencies; this is well established. We argue that the world is better characterized by multiple inefficiencies and multiple policymakers with various objectives. Asking the policy question only in terms of optimal monetary policy effectively turns the central bank into the residual claimant of all policy and gives the other policymakers a free hand in pursuing their own goals. This further worsens the trade-offs faced by the central bank. The optimal monetary policy literature and the optimal simple rules often labeled flexible inflation targeting assign all of the cyclical policymaking duties to central banks. This distorts the policy discussion and narrows the policy choices to a sub-optimal set. We highlight this issue and call for a broader thinking of optimal policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Troy Davig & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2015. "Is Optimal Monetary Policy Always Optimal?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 353-382, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2015:q:4:a:11
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Avinash Dixit & Luisa Lambertini, 2003. "Interactions of Commitment and Discretion in Monetary and Fiscal Policies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1522-1542, December.
    3. Jordi Gal?, 2014. "Monetary Policy and Rational Asset Price Bubbles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 721-752, March.
    4. Jeremy Bulow & Kenneth Rogoff, 1988. "Multilateral Negotiations for Rescheduling Developing Country Debt: A Bargaining-Theoretic Framework," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(4), pages 644-657, December.
    5. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern97-1.
    6. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x, August.
    8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Zeynep Kantur & M. Anil Tas & Seçil Yildirim, 2015. "Monetary Policy in Turkey after Central Bank Independence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5582, CESifo.
    9. Frank Smets, 2014. "Financial Stability and Monetary Policy: How Closely Interlinked?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(2), pages 263-300, June.
    10. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2013. "Is monetary policy overburdened?," IMFS Working Paper Series 75, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
    11. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 1-6, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Yıldız AKKAYA & Refet S. GÜRKAYNAK, 2012. "Cari açık, bütçe dengesi, finansal istikrar ve para politikası: Heyecanlı bir dönemin izi," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 27(315), pages 93-119.
    13. Ravenna, Federico & Walsh, Carl E., 2012. "Monetary policy and labor market frictions: A tax interpretation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 180-195.
    14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Bank centralny to zły decydent ostatniej instancji
      by k.mokrzycka in Obserwator Finansowy on 2016-01-13 08:00:17

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Jakob de Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2017. "Necessity as the mother of invention: monetary policy after the crisis," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(92), pages 707-755.
    2. Delano S. Villanueva, "undated". "Challenges for Inflation Targeting," Working Papers wp10, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre.
    3. Olivier Blanchard, 2018. "Distortions in Macroeconomics," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 547-554.
    4. Pasquale Foresti, 2018. "Monetary And Fiscal Policies Interaction In Monetary Unions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 226-248, February.
    5. Kantur, Zeynep & Özcan, Gülserim, 2019. "Optimal Policy Implications of Financial Uncertainty," MPRA Paper 95920, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Yıldırım-Karaman, Secil, 2017. "Uncertainty shocks, central bank characteristics and business cycles," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 379-388.
    7. Jong Ku Kang, 2016. "The Relation Between Monetary and Macroprudential Policy," Working Papers 2016-8, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    8. K. Kývanc Karaman & Seçil Yýldýrým-Karaman, 2017. "The Monetary Policy Change in Turkey in 2009 and Its Implications for Inflation and Growth," Bogazici Journal, Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 1-21.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy

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