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Are Bygones not Bygones? Modeling Price Level Targeting with an Escape Clause and Lessons from the Gold Standard

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  • Paul R. Masson
  • Malik D. Shukayev

Abstract

Like the gold standard, price level targeting (PT) involves not letting past deviations of inflation be bygones; both regimes return the price level (or price of gold) to its target. The experience of suspension of the gold standard in World War I, resumption in the 1920s (for some countries at a different parity), and final abandonment is reviewed. It suggests that PT would likely operate with an escape clause that allowed rebasing of the price target in the face of large output declines. Using a calibrated general equilibrium model, we show that such an escape clause can produce multiple equilibria. For some parameterizations, there is a low credibility equilibrium (with high expectation of a reset) associated with high output volatility and frequent resets. These problems reduce the expectational advantage of PT over inflation targeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul R. Masson & Malik D. Shukayev, 2008. "Are Bygones not Bygones? Modeling Price Level Targeting with an Escape Clause and Lessons from the Gold Standard," Staff Working Papers 08-27, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-27
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael, Hatcher, 2013. "Aggregate and welfare effects of long run inflation risk under inflation and price-level targeting," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-19, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Hatcher, Michael, 2014. "Indexed versus nominal government debt under inflation and price-level targeting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 126-145.
    3. Cateau, Gino & Shukayev, Malik, 2016. "Credibility of History-Dependent Monetary Policies and Macroeconomic Instability," Working Papers 2016-7, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    4. Michael Hatcher & Patrick Minford, 2016. "Stabilisation Policy, Rational Expectations And Price-Level Versus Inflation Targeting: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 327-355, April.
    5. Iulian Vasile Popescu, 2012. "Price-Level Targeting – A Viable Alternative To Inflation Targeting?," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4(4), pages 809-823, December.
    6. Hatcher, Michael & Minford, Patrick, 2014. "Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus infl‡ation targeting: a survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 9820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:jes:wpaper:y:2012:v:4:p:809-823 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credibility; Monetary policy framework;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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