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Inflation Targeting under Imperfect Knowledge

In: Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting

  • Athanasios Orphanides

    (Central Bank of Cyprus)

  • John C. Williams

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

A central tenet of inflation targeting is that establishing and maintaining well-anchored inflation expectations are essential. In this paper, we reexamine the role of key elements of the inflation targeting framework towards this end, in the context of an economy where economic agents have an imperfect understanding of the macroeconomic landscape within which the public forms expectations and policymakers must formulate and implement monetary policy. Using an estimated model of the U.S. economy, we show that monetary policy rules that would perform well under the assumption of rational expectations can perform very poorly when we introduce imperfect knowledge. We then examine the performance of an easily implemented policy rule that incorporates three key characteristics of inflation targeting: transparency, commitment to maintaining price stability, and close monitoring of inflation expectations, and find that all three play an important role in assuring its success. Our analysis suggests that simple difference rules in the spirit of Knut Wicksell excel at tethering inflation expectations to the central bank's goal and in so doing achieve superior stabilization of inflation and economic activity in an environment of imperfect knowledge.

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This chapter was published in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.) Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, , chapter 4, pages 077-123, 2007.
This item is provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series with number v11c04pp077-123.
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v11c04pp077-123
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