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Price-Level Targeting and Inflation Expectations: Experimental Evidence

  • Robert Amano
  • Jim Engle-Warnick
  • Malik Shukayev

In this paper, we use an economics decision-making experiment to test a key assumption underpinning the efficacy of price-level targeting relative to inflation targeting for business cycle stabilization and mitigating the effects of the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. In particular, we attempt to infer whether experimental participants understand the stationary nature of the price level under price-level targeting by observing their inflation forecasting behaviour in a laboratory setting. This is an important assumption since, without it, price-level targeting can lead to worse outcomes than inflation targeting. Our main result suggests that participants formulate inflation expectations consistent with the target-reverting nature of the price level but that they do not fully utilize it in their forecasts of future inflation.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 11-18.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:11-18
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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:3:p:719-51 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Klaus Adam, 2007. "Experimental Evidence on the Persistence of Output and Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 603-636, 04.
  4. Yongsung Chang & Sun-Bin Kim, 2003. "From Individual to Aggregate Labor Supply: A Quantitative Analysis Based on a Heterogeneous Agent Macroeconomy," Macroeconomics 0307003, EconWPA.
  5. Jim Engle-Warnick & Nurlan Turdaliev, 2005. "An Experimental Test Of Taylor-Type Rules With Inexperienced Central Bankers," Macroeconomics 0511022, EconWPA.
  6. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-107, September.
  7. Susanto Basu, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
  8. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Pioneering Price Level Targeting:The Swedish Experience 1931-1937," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 290, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Hommes, C.H., 2007. "Bounded Rationality and Learning in Complex Markets," CeNDEF Working Papers 07-01, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Ramon Marimon & Shyam Sunder, 1993. "Expectations and learning under alternative monetary regimes: An experimental approach," Economics Working Papers 37, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  13. Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Labor Supply: Are the Income and Substitution Effects Both Large or Both Small?," NBER Working Papers 14208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  15. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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