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Output gap uncertainty: does it matter for the Taylor rule?


  • Frank Smets

    (European Central Bank (ECB))


This paper analyses the effect of measurement error in the output gap on efficient monetary policy rules in a simple estimated model of the US economy. While it is a well-known result that such additive uncertainty does not affect the optimal feedback rule in a linear-quadratic framework, it is shown that output gap uncertainty can have a significant effect on the efficient response coefficients in restricted instrument rules such as the popular Taylor rule. Output gap uncertainty reduces the response to the current estimated output gap relative to current inflation and may partly explain why the parameters in estimated Taylor rules are often much lower than suggested by optimal control exercises which assume the state of the economy is known.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Smets, 1998. "Output gap uncertainty: does it matter for the Taylor rule?," BIS Working Papers 60, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Henderson, Dale W. & McKibbin, Warwick J., 1993. "A comparison of some basic monetary policy regimes for open economies: implications of different degrees of instrument adjustment and wage persistence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 221-317, December.
    2. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 1999. "The Taylor Rule: A Useful Monetary Policy Benchmark for the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 85-116, April.
    3. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 189-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Clark, Peter K., 1989. "Trend reversion in real output and unemployment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-32, January.
    5. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1997. "Central Bank Policy Rules: Conceptual Issues and Practical Considerations," NBER Working Papers 6306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
    7. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. " Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(3), pages 337-361, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy


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