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Inflation Targeting, Price-Path Targeting, and Output Variability

In: The Inflation-Targeting Debate

  • Stephen G. Cecchetti
  • Kim

The dramatic improvement in macroeconomic outcomes during the 1990s - stable, low inflation and high, stable growth - can be at least partly ascribed to improved monetary policy. Central banks became more independent and many of them adopted inflation targeting. This paper examines the potential for further improvements by refining the concept of inflation targeting. We construct a general model that encompasses a broad array of possible target regimes, and apply it to the data. Our results suggest that the vast majority of countries could benefit from moving to pricepath targeting, where the central bank makes up for periods of above (below) target inflation with later periods of below (above) target inflation.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 2004. "The Inflation-Targeting Debate," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern04-1, Abril.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9558.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9558
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Haizhou Huang & Peter B Clark & Charles Goodhart, 1996. "Optimal Monetary Policy Rules in a Rational Expectations Model of the Phillips Curve," FMG Discussion Papers dp247, Financial Markets Group.
    2. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Rudebusch , Glenn, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Seminar Papers 637, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Open-Economy Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus & Tapia, Matias, 2002. "Inflation targeting in Chile," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 125-146, August.
    5. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin & Finn Kydland, 1999. "The inflation-output variability tradeoff and price-level targets," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 23-32.
    6. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin, 2000. "What do New-Keynesian Phillips Curves imply for price-level targeting?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 21-30.
    7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky information versus sticky prices: a proposal to replace the New-Keynesian Phillips curve," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    8. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. Mervyn King, 1999. "Challenges for monetary policy : new and old," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-57.
    10. Nicoletta Batini & Anthony Yates, 2001. "Hybrid inflation and price level targeting," Bank of England working papers 135, Bank of England.
    11. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 1999. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility? An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Vestin, David, 2000. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting in a Forward-looking Model," Working Paper Series 106, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    13. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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