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Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules

In: Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning

  • George W. Evans

    (University of Oregon)

  • Seppo Honkapohja

    (Centre for Economic Policy Research)

We consider "robust stability" of a rational expectations equilibrium, which we define as stability under discounted (constant gain) least-squares learning, for a range of gain parameters. We find that for operational forms of policy rules, i.e. rules that do not depend on contemporaneous values of endogenous aggregate variables, many interest-rate rules do not exhibit robust stability. We consider a variety of interest-rate rules, including instrument rules, optimal reaction functions under discretion or commitment, and rules that approximate optimal policy under commitment. For some reaction functions we allow for an interest-rate stabilization motive in the policy objective. The expectations-based rules proposed in Evans and Honkapohja (2003, 2006) deliver robust learning stability. In contrast, many proposed alternatives become unstable under learning even at small values of the gain parameter.

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This chapter was published in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.) Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, , chapter 5, pages 145-170, 2009.
This item is provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series with number v13c05pp145-170.
Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchsb:v13c05pp145-170
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  1. Wiliam Branch & George W. Evans, 2005. "A Simple Recursive Forecasting Model," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-3, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Feb 2005.
  2. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Working Papers 050607, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
  4. Evans, G.W. & Honkapohja ,S. & Williams, N., 2005. "Generalized Stochastic Gradient Learning," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0545, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  6. Honkapohja, S. & Evans, G.W., 2000. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 481, Department of Economics.
  7. John Duffy & Wei Xiao, 2007. "The Value of Interest Rate Stabilization Policies When Agents Are Learning," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2041-2056, December.
  8. Milani, Fabio, 2014. "Learning and time-varying macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 94-114.
  9. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2008. "Expectations, Learning, And Monetary Policy: An Overview Of Recent Research," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 501, Central Bank of Chile.
  11. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1998. "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 23-44, January.
  12. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  13. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  14. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  15. Sergey Slobodyan & Anna Bogomolova, & Dmitri Kolyuzhnov, 2006. "Stochastic Gradient versus Recursive Least Squares Learning," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp309, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  16. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 2001. "Timeless Perspective Vs Discretionary Monetary Policy in Forward-Looking Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 2752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  18. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 15-38, 03.
  19. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Adaptive Learning and Monetary Policy Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Evans, G.W. & Guesnerie, R., 1992. "Rationalizability, Strong Rationality and Expectational Stability," DELTA Working Papers 92-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  21. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Learning and Macroeconomics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 421-451, 05.
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