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The Implications of Transmission and Information Lags for the Stabilization Bias and Optimal Delegation

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  • Jean-Paul Lam
  • Florian Pelgrin

Abstract

In two recent papers, Jensen (2002) and Walsh (2003), using a hybrid New Keynesian model, demonstrate that a regime that targets either nominal income growth or the change in the output gap can effectively replicate the outcome under commitment and hence reduce the size of the stabilization bias. Moreover, these two targeting regimes have been shown to outperform a regime that targets inflation, except when inflation expectations are predominantly backward looking. In this paper, the authors modify an otherwise conventional New Keynesian model to include transmission and information lags, two key problems faced by policy-makers, and they examine whether the results from the baseline model are robust to these two modifications. The authors find that the gains from commitment are considerably reduced when the model includes these two features, which implies that optimal delegation is less important. Furthermore, a regime that targets CPI inflation in a conservative manner is found to perform well and even outperforms the targeting regimes advocated by Jensen and Walsh under certain conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Paul Lam & Florian Pelgrin, 2004. "The Implications of Transmission and Information Lags for the Stabilization Bias and Optimal Delegation," Staff Working Papers 04-37, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:04-37
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    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
    3. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    4. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    5. Henrik Jensen, 2002. "Targeting Nominal Income Growth or Inflation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 928-956, September.
    6. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 402-432, April.
    8. Vestin, David, 2000. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting in a Forward-looking Model," Working Paper Series 106, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    9. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    12. Dennis, Richard & Soderstrom, Ulf, 2006. "How Important Is Precommitment for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 847-872, June.
    13. Jean-Paul Lam, 2003. "Alternative Targeting Regimes, Transmission Lags, and the Exchange Rate Channel," Staff Working Papers 03-39, Bank of Canada.
    14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The reliability of Canadian output-gap estimates," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 373-393, December.
    2. Loisel, Olivier, 2008. "Central bank reputation in a forward-looking model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3718-3742, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transmission of monetary policy; Inflation targets;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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