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A Linear Quadratic Approach to Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: The Case of a Distorted Steady State

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  • Raissi, M.

Abstract

Ravenna and Walsh (2010) develop a linear quadratic framework for optimal monetary policy analysis in a New Keynesian model featuring search and matching frictions and show that maximization of expected utility of the representative household is equivalent to minimizing a quadratic loss function that consists of inflation, and two appropriately defined gaps involving unemployment and labor market tightness. This paper generalizes their analysis, most importantly by relaxing the Hosios (1990) condition which eliminates the distortions resulting from labor market inefficiencies, such that the equilibrium level of unemployment under flexible prices would not necessarily be optimal. I take account of steady-state distortions using the methodology of Benigno and Woodford (2005) and derive a quadratic loss function that involves the same three terms, albeit with different relative weights and definitions for unemployment- and labor market tightness gaps. I evaluate the resulting loss function subject to a simple set of log-linearized equilibrium relationships and perform policy analysis. The key result of the paper is that search externalities give rise to an endogenous cost push term in the new Keynesian Phillips curve, suggesting a case against complete price stability as the only goal of monetary policy, because there is now a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and reducing inefficient unemployment fluctuations. Transitory movements of inflation in this environment helps job creation and hence prevents excessive volatility of unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Raissi, M., 2011. "A Linear Quadratic Approach to Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1146, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1146
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
    2. Marcus Hagedorn & Iourii Manovskii, 2008. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1692-1706, September.
    3. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2011. "Welfare-Based Optimal Monetary Policy with Unemployment and Sticky Prices: A Linear-Quadratic Framework," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 130-162, April.
    4. Garey Ramey & Wouter J. den Haan & Joel Watson, 2000. "Job Destruction and Propagation of Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 482-498, June.
    5. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    6. Ravenna, Federico & Walsh, Carl E., 2008. "Vacancies, unemployment, and the Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1494-1521, November.
    7. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 38-86, February.
    8. Thomas, Carlos, 2008. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 936-956, July.
    9. Sala, Luca & Söderström, Ulf & Trigari, Antonella, 2008. "Monetary policy under uncertainty in an estimated model with labor market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 983-1006, July.
    10. Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
    11. Simon Burgess & Helene Turon, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies – A Comment," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 05/573, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    12. Carl E. Walsh, 2005. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 829-849, October.
    13. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
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    15. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, February.
    17. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
    18. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Comments on: "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 957-960, July.
    19. Faia, Ester, 2009. "Ramsey monetary policy with labor market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 570-581, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cashin, Paul & Mohaddes, Kamiar & Raissi, Maziar & Raissi, Mehdi, 2014. "The differential effects of oil demand and supply shocks on the global economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 113-134.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal monetary policy; unemployment; search externalities.;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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