IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/v7y2004i4p869-899.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Avoiding Nash Inflation: Bayesian and Robus Responses to Model Uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Tetlow

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Peter von zur Muehlen

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

We examine learning, model misspecification, and robust policy responses to misspecification in a quasi-real-time environment. The laboratory for the analysis is the Sargent (1999) explanation for the origins of inflation in the 1970's and the subsequent disinflation. Three robust policy rules are derived that differ according to the extent that misspecification is taken as a parametric phenomenon. These responses to drifting estimated parameters and apparent misspecification are compared to the certainty-equivalent case studied by Sargent. We find gains from utilizing robust approaches to monetary policy design, but only when the approach to robustness is carefully tailored to the problem at hand. In the least parametric approach, the medicine of robust control turns out to be too potent for the disease of misspecification. In the most parametric approach, the response to misspecification is too weak and too misdirected to be of help. But when the robust approach to policy is narrowly directed in the correct location, it can avoid Nash inflation and improve social welfare. It follows that agnosticism regarding the sources of misspecification has its pitfalls. We also find that Sargent's story for the rise of inflation of the 1970s and its subsequent decline in the 1980s is robust to most ways of relaxing a strong assumption in the original work. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2004. "Avoiding Nash Inflation: Bayesian and Robus Responses to Model Uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 869-899, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:4:p:869-899
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2004.06.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2004.06.001
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and ScienceDirect institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.red.2004.06.001?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J Sargent, 2014. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: UNCERTAINTY WITHIN ECONOMIC MODELS, chapter 5, pages 145-154, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 2019. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Credit and Capital Markets, Credit and Capital Markets, vol. 52(4), pages 505-525.
    3. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 2003. "The Performance of Forecast-Based Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 622-645, June.
    4. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2003. "Modeling Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1087-1122, September.
    5. Bullard, James & Cho, In-Koo, 2005. "Escapist policy rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1841-1865, November.
    6. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:85-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sargent, Thomas J, 1971. "A Note on the 'Accelerationist' Controversy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 721-725, August.
    8. Volker Wieland, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 25(Q II), pages 21-39.
    10. Adam, Klaus, 2004. "On the relation between robust and Bayesian decision making," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2105-2117, September.
    11. Gerali, Andrea & Lippi, Francesco, 2001. "On the 'Conquest' of Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3101, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Marc P. Giannoni, 2007. "Robust optimal monetary policy in a forward-looking model with parameter and shock uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 179-213.
    14. 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.
    15. Tetlow, Robert J. & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Simplicity versus optimality: The choice of monetary policy rules when agents must learn," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 245-279, January.
    16. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.
    17. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
    18. Kenneth Kasa, 2004. "Learning, Large Deviations, And Recurrent Currency Crises," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 141-173, February.
    19. Guenter W. Beck and Volker Wieland, 2001. "Learning, Stabilization and Credibility: Optimal Monetary Policy in a Changing Economy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 162, Society for Computational Economics.
    20. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2002. "Flation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 84(Nov), pages 1-6.
      • William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    21. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams, 2005. "Impacts of Priors on Convergence and Escapes from Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 360-391, April.
    22. repec:cto:journl:v:21:y:2001:i:2:p:161-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
    24. Chow, Gregory C, 1973. "Effect of Uncertainty on Optimal Control Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 632-645, October.
    25. J. Tetlow, Robert & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: Does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 911-949, June.
    26. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
    27. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 537-577, November.
    28. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    29. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
    30. Frank Smets, 2002. "Output gap uncertainty: Does it matter for the Taylor rule?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 113-129.
    31. Drew, Aaron & Hunt, Benjamin, 2000. "Efficient simple policy rules and the implications of potential output uncertainty," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 143-160.
    32. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 111-144, February.
    33. Geoffrey Shuetrim & Christopher Thompson, 2003. "The Implications of Uncertainty for Monetary Policy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(246), pages 370-379, September.
    34. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
    35. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Evolving Post-World War II US Inflation Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 331-388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Gabriel Srour, 1999. "Inflation Targeting under Uncertainty," Technical Reports 85, Bank of Canada.
    37. Roger Craine & Arthur M. Havenner, 1977. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Special Studies Papers 101, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    38. Peter Von zur Muehlen, 2001. "Activist vs. non-activist monetary policy: optimal rules under extreme uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    39. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, September.
    40. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 85-110, February.
    41. Ray C. Fair, 2000. "Testing the NAIRU Model for the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 64-71, February.
    42. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    43. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608.
    44. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    45. Simon Hall & Chris Salmon & Tony Yates & Nicoletta Batini, 1999. "Uncertainty and Simple Monetary Policy Rules - An illustration for the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 96, Bank of England.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. André Marine Charlotte & Dai Meixing, 2018. "Learning, robust monetary policy and the merit of precaution," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(2), pages 1-20, June.
    2. Tetlow, Robert J. & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2009. "Robustifying learnability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 296-316, February.
    3. Martin Ellison & Thomas J. Sargent, 2012. "A Defense Of The Fomc," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1047-1065, November.
    4. Keith Kuester & Volker Wieland, 2010. "Insurance Policies for Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 872-912, June.
    5. David Kendrick & Hans Amman, 2006. "A Classification System for Economic Stochastic Control Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 453-481, June.
    6. Georges, Christophre, 2006. "Learning with misspecification in an artificial currency market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 70-84, May.
    7. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.
    8. Ironside, Brian & Tetlow, Robert J., 2005. "Real-Time Model Uncertainty in the United States: the Fed from 1996-2003," CEPR Discussion Papers 5305, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Arnulfo Rodríguez & Fidel González & Jesús R. González García, 2007. "Uncertainty about the Persistence of Cost-Push Shocks and the Optimal Reaction of the Monetary Authority," Working Papers 2007-05, Banco de México.
    11. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200513 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Zampolli, Fabrizio, 2006. "Optimal monetary policy in a regime-switching economy: The response to abrupt shifts in exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1527-1567.
    13. Fidel Gonzalez & Arnulfo Rodriguez, 2004. "Robust Control: A Note on the Response of the Control to Changes in the “Free” Parameter Conditional on the Character of Nature," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 223-238, March.
    14. Martin Ellison & Liam Graham & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Strong Contagion with Weak Spillovers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 263-283, April.
    15. Kendrick, David A., 2005. "Stochastic control for economic models: past, present and the paths ahead," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 3-30, January.
    16. Meixing Dai & Moïse Sidiropoulos, 2017. "How multiplicative uncertainty affects the tradeoff between information disclosure and stabilisation policy?," Working Papers of BETA 2017-15, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    17. Gonzalez F. & Rodriguez A. & Gonzalez-Garcia J.R., 2005. "Uncertainty about the Persistence of Periods with Large Price Shocks and the Optimal Reaction of the Monetary Authority," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 402, Society for Computational Economics.
    18. Meixing DAI & Eleftherios SPYROMITROS, 2008. "Monetary policy, asset prices and model uncertainty," Working Papers of BETA 2008-15, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Keith Kuester & Volker Wieland, 2010. "Insurance Policies for Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 872-912, June.
    2. repec:zbw:cfswop:wp200513 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marc Giannoni, 2006. "Robust Optimal Policy in a Forward-Looking Model with Parameter and Shock Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 11942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marc P. Giannoni, 2007. "Robust optimal monetary policy in a forward-looking model with parameter and shock uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 179-213.
    5. Levin, Andrew T. & Williams, John C., 2003. "Robust monetary policy with competing reference models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 945-975, July.
    6. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2009. "Monetary Policy Analysis with Potentially Misspecified Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1415-1450, September.
    7. Michael Paetz, 2007. "Robust Control and Persistence in the New Keynesian Economy," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20711, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    8. Marc-Alexandre Sénégas, 2002. "La politique monétaire face à l'incertitude : un survol méthodologique des contributions relatives à la zone euro," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 65(1), pages 177-200.
    9. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: Some theory and empirics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 629-664, February.
    10. Mariusz Gorajski, 2016. "Robust monetary policy in a linear model of the polish economy: is the uncertainty in the model responsible for the interest rate smoothing effect?," Lodz Economics Working Papers 1/2016, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology.
    11. Felipe Morandé Lavín & Mauricio Tejada, 2008. "Sources of Uncertainty for Conducting Monetary Policy in Chile," Working Papers wp285, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
    12. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
    13. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "The conquest of US inflation: Learning and robustness to model uncertainty," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 528-563, April.
    14. John C. Williams, 2006. "Robust estimation and monetary policy with unobserved structural change," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-16.
    15. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary Policy Rules, Macroeconomic Stability, and Inflation: A View from the Trenches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 151-175, April.
    16. Kurozumi, Takushi, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Policy Under Parameter Uncertainty In A Simple Microfounded Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 257-268, April.
    17. A. Hakan Kara, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy, Commitment, and Imperfect Credibility," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 4(1), pages 31-66.
    18. Tetlow, Robert J. & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2009. "Robustifying learnability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 296-316, February.
    19. Ralf Fendel, 2004. "Perspektiven und Grenzen der Verwendung geldpolitischer Regeln," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(2), pages 169-192, May.
    20. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2002. "Squeezing the Interest Rate Smoothing Weight with a Hybrid Expectations Model," Macroeconomics 0211006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Mariusz Górajski, 2018. "Robust Monetary Policy in a Model of the Polish Economy: Is the Uncertainty Responsible for the Interest Rate Smoothing Effect?," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 52(2), pages 313-340, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty; Knightian uncertainty; robust control; learning; monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:4:p:869-899. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.