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A General Theory (and Some Evidence) of Expectation Traps in Monetary Policy

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  • ROC ARMENTER

Abstract

I show that multiple equilibria are a general property of economies under full monetary policy discretion. Three simple conditions are sufficient to rule out, generically, a unique equilibrium in a static economy. The key departure from Barro and Gordon (1983) is to consider bounded welfare costs of inflation. I also show that in a two Markov equilibrium economy the inflation response to certain perturbations is, generically, qualitatively different in each equilibrium. Finally, I discuss some evidence on inflation dynamics that supports the hypothesis that U.S. monetary policy was caught in an expectation trap during the high inflation episode of the 1970s. Copyright (c) 2008 The Ohio State University.

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  • Roc Armenter, 2008. "A General Theory (and Some Evidence) of Expectation Traps in Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 867-895, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:5:p:867-895
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    Cited by:

    1. Roc Armenter & Martin Bodenstein, 2005. "Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?," Staff Reports 230, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Armenter, Roc & Bodenstein, Martin, 2008. "Can The U.S. Monetary Policy Fall (Again) In An Expectation Trap?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(05), pages 664-693, November.
    3. Armenter, Roc, 2013. "The perils of nominal targets," Working Papers 14-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 04 Feb 2014.
    4. David Arseneau, 2012. "Expectation traps in a new Keynesian open economy model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(1), pages 81-112, January.
    5. Eric Swanson & Gauti Eggertsson, 2007. "Optimal Time-Consistent Monetary Policy in the New Keynesian Model with Repeated Simultaneous Play," 2007 Meeting Papers 214, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Roc Armenter, 2014. "The Perils of Nominal Targets," 2014 Meeting Papers 428, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Volker Hahn, 2014. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in a New Keynesian Model," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-14, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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