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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.

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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:wly:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:5:p:867-895
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1538-4616.2008.00140.x
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    1. Jeffrey Campbell & Jacob Weber, 2021. "Discretion rather than rules: Equilibrium uniqueness and forward guidance with inconsistent optimal plans," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 41, pages 243-254, July.

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