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Imperfect Knowledge and the Pitfalls of Optimal Control Monetary Policy

In: Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning

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  • Athanasios Orphanides

    (Central Bank of Cyprus)

  • John C. Williams

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Abstract

This paper examines the robustness characteristics of optimal control policies derived under the assumption of rational expectations to alternative models of expectations formation and uncertainty about the natural rates of interest and unemployment. We assume that agents have imperfect knowledge about the precise structure of the economy and form expectations using a forecasting model that they continuously update based on incoming data. We also allow for central bank uncertainty regarding the natural rates of interest and unemployment. We find that the optimal control policy derived under the assumption of rational expectations performs rather poorly when agents learn. These problems are exacerbated by natural rate uncertainty, even
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2009. "Imperfect Knowledge and the Pitfalls of Optimal Control Monetary Policy," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 4, pages 115-144 Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v13c04pp115-144
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. 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.
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    11. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Evolving Post-World War II U.S. Inflation Dynamics," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 331-388 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Gelain & Kevin J. Lansing & Caterina Mendicino, 2013. "House Prices, Credit Growth, and Excess Volatility: Implications for Monetary and Macroprudential Policy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(2), pages 219-276, June.
    2. Beyer, Robert C. M. & Wieland, Volker, 2015. "Schätzung des mittelfristigen Gleichgewichtszinses in den Vereinigten Staaten, Deutschland und dem Euro-Raum mit der Laubach-Williams-Methode," Working Papers 03/2015, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    3. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2012. "Monetary Policy Mistakes and the Evolution of Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters,in: The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, pages 255-288 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Beyer, Robert & Wieland, Volker, 2017. "Instability, imprecision and inconsistent use of equilibrium real interest rate estimates," IMFS Working Paper Series 110, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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