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Inflation Targeting and Price-Level-Path Targeting in the GEM: Some Open Economy Considerations

  • Donald Coletti
  • René Lalonde
  • Dirk Muir

This paper compares the performance of simple inflation targeting (IT) and price-level path targeting (PLPT) rules to stabilize the macroeconomy, in response to a series of shocks, similar to those seen in Canada and the United States over the 1983 to 2004 period. The analysis is conducted in a two-country (Canada and the United States), two-sector (tradables and nontradables) version of the International Monetary Fund’s Global Economy Model (GEM). The authors conclude that PLPT is slightly preferred to IT for delivering macroeconomic stability, as it delivers a reduction in inflation and nominal interest rate volatility, at the expense of slightly higher output gap variability. When the analysis is restricted to the shocks that have been most important for explaining movements in Canada’s terms of trade over this period, PLPT is still preferred to IT. The authors also show that their results are sensitive to the interaction between the relative importance of the different types of macroeconomic shocks that hit the economy, and the extent to which price and wage setting is forward looking. Lastly, the authors demonstrate that the choice of monetary policy framework in the United States does not affect the relative merits of PLPT versus IT in Canada.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 08-6.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-6
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  1. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-96, April.
  2. Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2003. "Monetary rules for small, open, emerging economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1109-1146, July.
  3. Scott Roger & Mark R. Stone, 2005. "On Target? the International Experience with Achieving Inflation Targets," IMF Working Papers 05/163, International Monetary Fund.
  4. 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.
  5. Fama, Eugene F., 1984. "Forward and spot exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-338, November.
  6. Steve Ambler, 2009. "Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 21-31.
  7. Eva Ortega & Nooman Rebei, 2006. "The Welfare Implications of Inflation versus Price-Level Targeting in a Two-Sector, Small Open Economy," Working Papers 06-12, Bank of Canada.
  8. Paul Fenton & Stephen Murchison, 2006. "ToTEM: The Bank of Canada's New Projection and Policy-Analysis Model," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2006(Autumn), pages 5-18.
  9. 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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