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Monetary Policy Rules under Heterogeneous Inflation Expectations

  • Sophocles N. Brissimis


    (Bank of Greece, Economic Research Department and University of Piraeus)

  • Nicholas S. Magginas

    (National Bank of Greece)

This paper evaluates the role of inflation-forecast heterogeneity in US monetary policy making. The deviation between private and central bank inflation forecasts is identified as a factor increasing inflation persistence and thus calling for a policy reaction. An optimal policy rule is derived by the minimization under discretion of a standard central bank loss function subject to a Phillips curve, modified to include the forecast deviation, and a forward-looking aggregate demand equation. This rule, which itself includes the forecast deviation as an additional argument, is estimated for the period 1974-1998, covering the Chairmanships of Arthur Burns, Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, by using real-time forecasts of inflation and the output gap obtained from the FOMC’s Greenbook and the Survey of Professional Forecasters. The estimated rule remains remarkably stable over the whole sample period, challenging the conventional view of a structural break following Volcker’s appointment as Chairman of the Fed. Finally, the substantial decline in the significance of the interest-rate smoothing term in the rule indicates that monetary policy inertia may, to a large extent, be an artifact of serially correlated inflation-forecast errors that feed into policy decisions in real time.

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Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 35.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:35
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  1. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  6. Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Magginas, Nicholas S., 2006. "Forward-looking information in VAR models and the price puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(6), pages 1225-1234, September.
  7. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2001. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-6, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 03 Aug 2001.
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  17. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  18. Perez, Stephen J., 2001. "Looking back at forward-looking monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 509-521.
  19. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
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  22. Orlando Gomes, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Heterogeneous Expectations," Macroeconomics 0409023, EconWPA.
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