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Two-sided Learning in New Keynesian Models: Dynamics, (Lack of) Convergence and the Value of Information

  • Christian Matthes
  • Francesca Rondina

This paper investigates the role of learning by private agents and the central bank (two-sided learning) in a New Keynesian framework in which both sides of the economy have asymmetric and imperfect knowledge about the true data generating process. We assume that all agents employ the data that they observe (which may be distinct for different sets of agents) to form beliefs about unknown aspects of the true model of the economy, use their beliefs to decide on actions, and revise these beliefs through a statistical learning algorithm as new information becomes available. We study the short-run dynamics of our model and derive its policy recommendations, particularly with respect to central bank communications. We demonstrate that two-sided learning can generate substantial increases in volatility and persistence, and alter the behavior of the variables in the model in a significant way. Our simulations do not converge to a symmetric rational expectations equilibrium and we highlight one source that invalidates the convergence results of Marcet and Sargent (1989). Finally, we identify a novel aspect of central bank communication in models of learning: communication can be harmful if the central bank’s model is substantially mis-specified.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 661.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:661
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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C, 2005. "The Decline of Activist Stabilization Policy: Natural Rate Misperceptions, Learning and Expectations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4865, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 15-38, 03.
  3. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Learning, Monetary Policy Rules, and Macroeconomic Stability," Macroeconomics 0508019, EconWPA.
  4. James Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2005. "Did the Great Inflation Occur Despite Policymaker Commitment to a Taylor Rule?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 324-359, April.
  5. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Barnett, Alina & Ellison, Martin, 2012. "Learning by disinflating," Research Discussion Papers 10/2012, Bank of Finland.
  7. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Adaptive Learning and Monetary Policy Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Performance of monetary policy with internal central bank forecasting," Research Discussion Papers 3/2002, Bank of Finland.
  9. Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2007. "Central bank communication and expectations stabilization," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue March, pages 1-43.
  10. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2006. "Adaptive Learning in Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2003. "Heterogeneous Learning," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 885-906, October.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  13. Timothy Cogley & Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone, 2011. "Optimal disinflation under learning," Staff Reports 524, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, . "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 51, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & James M. Nason & Giacomo Rondina, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2007-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  16. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
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