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Learning by Disinflating


Disinflationary episodes are a valuable source of information for economic agents trying to learn about the economy. In this paper we are particularly interested in how policymakers can themselves learn by disinflating. The approach differs from the existing literature, which typically focuses on the learning of private agents during a disinflation. We build a model where both the policymaker and private agents learn, and ask what happens if the policymaker has to disinflate to satisfy a new central bank mandate specifying greater emphasis on inflation stabilisation. In this case, our results show that inflation may fall dramatically before it gradually rises to its new long run level. The potential for inflation to undershoot its long run level during a disinflationary episode suggests that caution should be exercised when assessing the success of any change in the policymaker's mandate. JEL classification: D83, E52, E58 Keywords: Disinflation, Escape Dynamics, Learning, Monetary Policy

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

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 731-746

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i:4:p:731-746
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  1. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin & Ryan Michaels, 2007. "Three great American disinflations," International Finance Discussion Papers 898, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 11562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  4. Nicolae, Anamaria & Nolan, Charles, 2006. "The Impact of Imperfect Credibility in a Transition to Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 47-66, February.
  5. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Bruce McGough, 2006. "Shocking Escapes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 507-528, 04.
  7. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2007. "Inflation Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 13147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Martin Ellison & Tony Yates, 2007. "Escaping Volatile Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 981-993, 06.
  9. Ball, Laurence, 1994. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price-Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 282-89, March.
  10. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2004. "Shocks and government beliefs: the rise and fall of American inflation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Cho, In-Koo & Kasa, Kenneth, 2008. "Learning Dynamics And Endogenous Currency Crises," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 257-285, April.
  12. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
  13. Lynne Evans & Anamaria Nicolae, 2010. "The Output Effect of a Transition to Price Stability When Velocity Is Time Varying," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(5), pages 859-878, 08.
  14. Cogley, Timothy & Matthes, Christian & Sbordone, Argia M., 2011. "Optimal disinflation under learning," Staff Reports 524, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 May 2014.
  15. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Benefits from U.S. monetary policy experimentation in the days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. repec:fip:fedgsq:y:2007:i:jul10 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Ireland, Peter N., 1995. "Optimal disinflationary paths," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1429-1448, November.
  18. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 2003. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 1-30, February.
  19. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Martin Ellison & Tony Yates, 2007. "Escaping Nash and volatile inflation," Bank of England working papers 330, Bank of England.
  21. Peter Tillmann, 2009. "The Fed’s perceived Phillips curve: Evidence from individual FOMC forecasts," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200946, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  22. Ben S. Bernanke, 2007. "Inflation expectations and inflation forecasting," Speech 306, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2012. "Sacrifice Ratio in a Medium‐Scale New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 457-467, 03.
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