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Price Level versus Inflation Targeting under Model Uncertainty

Author

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  • Gino Cateau

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to make a quantitative contribution to the inflation versus price level targeting debate. It considers a policy-maker that can set policy either through an inflation targeting rule or a price level targeting rule to minimize a quadratic loss function using the actual projection model of the Bank of Canada (ToTEM). The paper finds that price level targeting dominates inflation targeting, although it can lead to much more volatile inflation depending on the weight assigned to output gap stabilization in the loss function. The price level targeting rule is also found to mimic the full-commitment solution quite well. There is, however, an important difference: the full-commitment solution does not require stationarity in the price-level. The paper then analyzes the extent to which the results are sensitive to Hansen and Sargent (2004) model uncertainty. The paper finds the price level targeting rule to be robust; its performance deteriorates slower than the inflation targeting rule and the absolute decline in performance is small in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Gino Cateau, 2008. "Price Level versus Inflation Targeting under Model Uncertainty," Staff Working Papers 08-15, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
    2. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dib, Ali & Mendicino, Caterina & Zhang, Yahong, 2013. "Price-level targeting rules and financial shocks: The case of Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 941-953.
    2. Mark J. Carney, 2009. "Commentary: using monetary policy to stabilize economic activity," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 297-311.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty and monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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