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Average Inflation Targeting

  • Nessen, Marianne
  • Vestin, David

The analysis of this paper demonstrates that when the Phillips curve has forward-looking components, a goal for average inflation--i.e., targeting a j-period average of one-period inflation rates--will cause inflation expectations to change in a way that improves the short-run trade-off faced by the monetary policymaker. Average inflation targeting is thus an example of a "modified" loss function, which when implemented in a discretionary fashion results in more efficient outcomes from the standpoint of the true social objective (inflation targeting under commitment), than the discretionary pursuit of the true objective itself. In purely forward-looking models, average inflation targeting is dominated by price level targeting. But we also demonstrate in a micro-founded model where the Phillips curve has both forward- and backward-looking components that there are cases when the average inflation target provides more efficient outcomes than both "ordinary" one-period inflation targeting and price level targeting.

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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 37 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 837-63

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:37:y:2005:i:5:p:837-63
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Price Level Targeting vs. Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Seminar Papers 614, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 2001. "Timeless Perspective Vs Discretionary Monetary Policy in Forward-Looking Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 2752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jensen, Henrik, 1999. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Nessén, Marianne, 1999. "Targeting Inflation over the Short, Medium and Long Term," Working Paper Series 98, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
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  11. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  12. 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.
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  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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  26. Michael T. Kiley, 1998. "Monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips Curves, with an application to price level and inflation targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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