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Rule-based monetary policy under central bank learning

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  • Kosuke Aoki
  • Kalin Nikolov

Abstract

This paper evaluates the performance of three popular monetary policy rules where the central bank is learning about the parameter values of a simple New Keynesian model. The three policies are: (1) the optimal non-inertial rule; (2) the optimal history-dependent rule; (3) the optimal price level targeting rule. Under rational expectations rules (2) and (3) both implement the fully optimal equilibrium by improving the output/inflation trade-off. When imperfect information about the model parameters is introduced, the central bank makes monetary policy mistakes, which affect welfare to a different degree under the three rules. The optimal history-dependent rule is worst affected and delivers the lowest welfare. Price level targeting performs best under learning and maintains the advantages of conducting policy under commitment. These findings are related to the literature on feedback control and robustness. The paper argues that adopting integral representations of rules designed under full information is desirable, because these rules deliver the beneficial output/inflation trade-off of commitment policy, while being robust to implementation errors.

Suggested Citation

  • Kosuke Aoki & Kalin Nikolov, 2004. "Rule-based monetary policy under central bank learning," Bank of England working papers 235, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:235
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    Cited by:

    1. Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2010. "Welfare-maximizing monetary policy under parameter uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 129-143.
    2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2008. "Learning, expectations formation, and the pitfalls of optimal control monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages 80-96, October.
    3. Michael Woodford, 2008. "How Important Is Money in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1598, December.
    4. Aoki, Kosuke, 2006. "Optimal commitment policy under noisy information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 81-109, January.
    5. Woodford, Michael, 2013. "Forward Guidance by Inflation-Targeting Central Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 9722, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Giuseppe Ferrero, 2004. "Monetary Policy and the Transition to Rational Expectations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 101, Econometric Society.
    7. Railavo, Jukka, 2006. "Essays on macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy rules," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland, number 2006_033.
    8. Eric Schaling & James Bullard, 2005. "Monetary Policy, Determinacy, and Learnability in the Open Economy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 362, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. Mr. Rafael A Portillo & Ms. Filiz D Unsal & Mr. Andrew Berg, 2010. "On the Optimal Adherence to Money Targets in a New-Keynesian Framework: An Application to Low-Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 2010/134, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Dennis, Richard & Ravenna, Federico, 2008. "Learning and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1964-1994, June.
    11. Dib, Ali & Mendicino, Caterina & Zhang, Yahong, 2013. "Price-level targeting rules and financial shocks: The case of Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 941-953.
    12. Woodford, Michael, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 14, pages 723-828, Elsevier.
    13. Yu-chin Chen & Pisut Kulthanavit, 2008. "Adaptive Learning and Monetary Policy: Lessons from Japan," Working Papers UWEC-2008-12-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2008.
    14. Michael Woodford, 2007. "The Case for Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
    15. Loisel, Olivier, 2008. "Central bank reputation in a forward-looking model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3718-3742, November.
    16. Mele, Antonio & Molnár, Krisztina & Santoro, Sergio, 2020. "On the perils of stabilizing prices when agents are learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 339-353.
    17. Marest, Luc & Thurston, Thom, 2018. "Measuring the value of central bank commitment in the benchmark New Keynesian model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 249-265.
    18. Goy, Gavin & Hommes, Cars & Mavromatis, Kostas, 2022. "Forward guidance and the role of central bank credibility under heterogeneous beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 1240-1274.
    19. Federico Ravenna, 2014. "How Central Banks Learn the True Model of the Economy," Cahiers de recherche 1409, CIRPEE.
    20. Alberto Locarno & Alessandra Locarno, 2021. "Is inflation targeting a strategy past its sell-by date?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1316, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    21. Jukka Railavo, 2005. "Monetary Concequences of Alternative Fiscal Policy Rules," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 145, Society for Computational Economics.
    22. Walsh, Carl E., 2005. "Endogenous objectives and the evaluation of targeting rules for monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 889-911, July.
    23. Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Webb, Bruce, 2005. "Would price-level targeting destabilise the economy?," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2005/12, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    24. Railavo, Jukka, 2004. "Monetary consequences of alternative fiscal policy rules," Research Discussion Papers 20/2004, Bank of Finland.

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