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Simple Monetary Policymaking without the Output Gap

Listed author(s):
  • Leitemo, Kai
  • Lonning, Ingunn

Several research contributions have argued that information about the output gap is essential for a good monetary policy rule. However, as pointed out by Orphanides (2001), there is considerable real-time uncertainty about the size of the output gap. The paper argues that simple monetary policy rules that rely exclusively on (survey-based) information about future and past inflation rates may be more efficient than optimized Taylor rules once real-time output gap uncertainty is accounted for. Even when only information about historical inflation rates is available, a very simple policy rule may be constructed that improves on the Taylor rule.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/mcb.2006.0085
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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 38 (2006)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
Pages: 1619-1640

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:38:y:2006:i:6:p:1619-1640
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & Richard D. Porter & David L. Reifschneider & Robert J. Tetlow & Frederico Finan, 1999. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
  3. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2000-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 6512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  10. Michael Ehrmann and Frank Smets, 2001. "Uncertain Potential Output: Implications for Monetary Policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 8, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  12. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 1999. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Macroeconomics 9907006, EconWPA.
  13. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Should Monetary Policy Respond Strongly to Output Gaps?," NBER Working Papers 8226, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  17. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
  20. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary-Policy Rules and the Great Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 115-120, May.
  21. Swanson, Eric T., 2004. "Signal Extraction And Non-Certainty-Equivalence In Optimal Monetary Policy Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 27-50, February.
  22. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
  23. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
  24. 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.
  25. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  26. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2003. "UK inflation in the 1970s and 1980s: the role of output gap mismeasurement," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 353-370.
  27. Holden, Steinar & Nymoen, Ragnar, 2002. " Measuring Structural Unemployment: NAWRU Estimates in the Nordic Countries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 87-104.
  28. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "The (Un)Importance of Forward-Looking Behavior in Price Specifications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 338-350, August.
  29. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
  30. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  31. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Frank Smets, 2002. "Output gap uncertainty: Does it matter for the Taylor rule?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 113-129.
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