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Exact Utilities under Alternative Monetary Rules in a Simple Macro Model with Optimizing Agents

  • Dale Henderson
  • Jinill Kim

We construct an optimizing-agent model of a closed economy which is simple enough that we can use it to make exact utility calculations. There is a stabilization problem because there are one-period nominal contracts for wages, or prices, or both and shocks that are unknown at the time when contracts are signed. We evaluate alternative monetary policy rules using the utility function of the representative agent. Fully optimal policy can attain the Pareto-optimal equilibrium. Fully optimal policy is contrasted with both 'naive' and 'sophisticated' simple rules that involve, respectively, complete stabilization and optimal stabilization of one variable or a combination two variables. With wage contracts, outcomes depend crucially on whether there are also price contracts. For example, if labor supply is relatively inelastic, for productivity shocks, nominal income stabilization yields higher welfare when there are no price contracts. However, with price contracts, outcomes are independent of whether there are wage contracts, except, of course, for the nominal wage. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1008797231729
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 507-535

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:6:y:1999:i:4:p:507-535
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  1. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Dale Henderson & Jinill Kim, 1999. "Exact Utilities under Alternative Monetary Rules in a Simple Macro Model with Optimizing Agents," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 507-535, November.
  9. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Bean, Charles R, 1983. "Targeting Nominal Income: An Appraisal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 806-19, December.
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  13. Charles Engel, 1999. "On the Foreign Exchange Risk Premium in Sticky-Price General Equilibrium Models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 491-505, November.
  14. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "A small, structural, quarterly model for monetary policy evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 83-108, December.
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