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Inflation Targeting as a Way of Precommitment

  • Herrendorf, Berthold

This paper considers an institutional arrangement in which the government assigns a publicly-announced inflation target to an instrument-independent central bank, but retains the discretion to revise the inflation target after wages have been set. The author argues that since this arrangement is transparent, it solves M. B. Canzoneri's private information problem, ensures perfect monitoring of the government, and makes reputational forces more effective. Cases are characterized in which, for this reason, inflation targeting mitigates the inflationary bias of monetary policy. Copyright 1998 by Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 50 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 431-48

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:50:y:1998:i:3:p:431-48
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  1. Minford, Patrick, 1995. "Time-Inconsistency, Democracy, and Optimal Contingent Rules," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 195-210, April.
  2. Svensson, L.E.O., 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," Papers 595, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Fratianni, Michele & von Hagen, Jürgen & Waller, Christopher, 1993. "Central Banking as a Political Principal-Agent Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lockwood, Ben & Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 1998. "Designing Monetary Policy When Unemployment Persists," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 327-45, August.
  5. Herrendorf, Berthold & Lockwood, Ben, 1996. "Rogoff's 'Conservative' Central Banker Restored," CEPR Discussion Papers 1386, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Is New Zealand's Reserve Bank Act of 1989 an Optimal Central Bank Contract?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1179-91, November.
  7. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  9. al-Nowaihi, Ali & Levine, Paul, 1994. "Can reputation resolve the monetary policy credibility problem?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 355-380, April.
  10. Driffill, E.J. & Schultz, Ch., 1990. "Wage Setting and Stabilization Policy in a Game with Renegotiation," Discussion Paper 1990-3, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  12. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  13. Garfinkel, Michelle R & Oh, Seonghwan, 1993. "Strategic Discipline in Monetary Policy with Private Information: Optimal Targeting Horizons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 99-117, March.
  14. Cubitt, Robin P, 1992. "Monetary Policy Games and Private Sector Precommitment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 513-30, July.
  15. Fischer, Stanley, 1995. "Central-Bank Independence Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 201-06, May.
  16. Al-Nowaihi, A & Levine, Paul L, 1996. "Independent but Accountable: Walsh Contracts and the Credibility Problem," CEPR Discussion Papers 1387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
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