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Estimating Central Bank Preferences under Commitment and Discretion


This paper explains US macroeconomic outcomes with an empirical new-Keynesian model in which monetary policy minimizes the central bank's loss function. The presence of expectations in the model forms a well-known distinction between two modes of optimization, termed commitment and discretion. I estimate the model separately under each policy using maximum likelihood over the Volcker-Greenspan-Bernanke period. Comparisons of fit reveal that the data favor the specification with discretionary policy. Estimates of the loss function weights point to an excessive concern for interest rate smoothing in the commitment model but a more balanced concern relative to inflation and output stability in the discretionary model.

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

Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (09)
Pages: 1033-1061

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:44:y:2012:i:6:p:1033-1061
DOI: j.1538-4616.2012.00522.x
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