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Time-varying volatility, precautionary saving and monetary policy


  • Hatcher, Michael

    () (Cardiff University)


This paper analyses the conduct of monetary policy in an environment where households’ desire to amass precautionary savings is influenced by fluctuations in the volatilities of disturbances that hit the economy. It uses a simple New Keynesian model with external habit formation that is augmented with demand and supply disturbances whose volatilities vary over time. If volatility fluctuations are ignored by policy, interest rates are set at a suboptimal level. The extent of ‘policy bias’ is relatively small but of greater importance the higher the degree of habit formation. The reason is that habit-forming preferences raise risk aversion, increasing the importance of the precautionary savings channel through which volatility fluctuations impact upon inflation and output.

Suggested Citation

  • Hatcher, Michael, 2011. "Time-varying volatility, precautionary saving and monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 440, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0440

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
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    6. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
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    11. Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo & Juillard, Michel & Karam, Philippe, 2006. "Welfare-based monetary policy rules in an estimated DSGE model of the US economy," Working Paper Series 613, European Central Bank.
    12. Bianca De Paoli & Pawel Zabczyk, 2013. "Cyclical Risk Aversion, Precautionary Saving, and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(1), pages 1-36, February.
    13. Andrew Benito, 2006. "Does job insecurity affect household consumption?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 157-181, January.
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    More about this item


    Time-varying volatility; precautionary saving; monetary policy; DSGE models.;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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