IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

Inflation Expectations, Adaptive Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy

In: Handbook of Monetary Economics


  • Gaspar, Vitor
  • Smets, Frank
  • Vestin, David


This chapter investigates the implications of adaptive learning in the private sector's formation of inflation expectations for the conduct of monetary policy. We first review the literature that studies the implications of adaptive learning processes for macroeconomic dynamics under various monetary policy rules. We then analyze optimal monetary policy in the standard New Keynesian model, when the central bank minimizes an explicit loss function and has full information about the structure of the economy, including the precise mechanism generating private sector's expectations. The focus on optimal policy allows us to investigate how and to what extent a change in the assumption of how agents form their inflation expectations affects the principles of optimal monetary policy. It also provides a benchmark to evaluate simple policy rules. We find that departures from rational expectations increase the potential for instability in the economy, strengthening the importance of anchoring inflation expectations. We also find that the simple commitment rule under rational expectations is robust when expectations are formed in line with adaptive learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaspar, Vitor & Smets, Frank & Vestin, David, 2010. "Inflation Expectations, Adaptive Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1055-1095, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:monchp:3-19

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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


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

    Cited by:

    1. Marine Charlotte André & Meixing Dai, 2017. "Can inflation contract discipline central bankers when agents are learning?," Working Papers of BETA 2017-25, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. Ricardo Nunes & Ali Ozdagli & Jenny Tang, 2022. "Interest Rate Surprises: A Tale of Two Shocks," Working Papers 22-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Eusepi, Stefano & Giannoni, Marc P. & Preston, Bruce, 2018. "Some implications of learning for price stability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Silvia Miranda-Agrippino & Giovanni Ricco, 2021. "The Transmission of Monetary Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 74-107, July.
    5. Sophocles N. Brissimis & Petros M. Migiakis, 2016. "Inflation persistence, learning dynamics and the rationality of inflation expectations," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 963-979, November.
    6. Julian A. Parra-Polania & Luisa F. Acuña-Roa, 2013. "Price-Level Targeting: an omelette that requires breaking some Inflation-Targeting eggs?," Borradores de Economia 10984, Banco de la Republica.
    7. André Marine Charlotte & Medina Espidio Sebastián, 2022. "Optimal Robust Monetary Policy in a Small Open Economy," Working Papers 2022-17, Banco de México.
    8. Elmar Mertens, 2016. "Managing Beliefs about Monetary Policy under Discretion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(4), pages 661-698, June.
    9. Anat Bracha & Jenny Tang, 2022. "Inflation Levels and (In)Attention," Working Papers 22-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    10. Yoshihiko Hogen & Ryoichi Okuma, 2018. "The Anchoring of Inflation Expectations in Japan: A Learning-Approach Perspective," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 18-E-8, Bank of Japan.
    11. Marine Charlotte André & Meixing Dai, 2015. "Central bank accountability under adaptive learning," Working Papers of BETA 2015-32, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    12. Woodford, Michael, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 14, pages 723-828, Elsevier.
    13. Gáti, Laura, 2023. "Monetary policy & anchored expectations—An endogenous gain learning model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(S), pages 37-47.
    14. García-Cicco, Javier, 2022. "Alternative monetary-policy instruments and limited credibility: An exploration," Latin American Journal of Central Banking (previously Monetaria), Elsevier, vol. 3(1).
    15. Cars Hommes & Kostas Mavromatis & Tolga Özden & Mei Zhu, 2023. "Behavioral learning equilibria in New Keynesian models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(4), pages 1401-1445, November.
    16. Yan Carrière-Swallow & Bertrand Gruss & Nicolas E. Magud & Fabián Valencia, 2021. "Monetary Policy Credibility and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 17(3), pages 61-94, September.
    17. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    18. Marine Charlotte André & Meixing Dai, 2018. "The limits to robust monetary policy in a small open economy with learning agents," Working Papers of BETA 2018-45, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    19. Anat Bracha & Jenny Tang, 2019. "Inflation Thresholds and Inattention," Working Papers 19-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

    More about this item


    Adaptive Learning; Optimal Monetary Policy; Policy Rules; Rational Expectations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General


    Access and download statistics


    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:eee:monchp:3-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.