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Are Central Bank Preferences Asymmetric? A Comment




A recent paper by Ruge-Murcia [European Economic Review 48 (2004), 91-107] on asymmetric central bank objectives provides a new perspective on the policy roots of inflation in developed economies. More precisely, the paper demonstrates that if the distribution of the supply shocks is normal, then the reduced form solution for inflation implies a positive (or negative) relation between average inflation and the variance of shocks. We argue that the evidence offered in support of this hypothesis suffers from lack of identification because Phillips curve nonlinearity combined with quadratic central bank preferences yield the same reduced form solution for inflation. If so, estimating reduced form for inflation will not be able to discriminate between these models. Yet they have quite different implications for policy. Other, structural, evidence is needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Minford, Patrick & Srinivasan, Naveen, 2008. "Are Central Bank Preferences Asymmetric? A Comment," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2008/5, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2008/5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Minford, Patrick & Srinivasan, Naveen, 2006. "Opportunistic monetary policy: An alternative rationalization," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(5-6), pages 366-372.
    2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
    3. Alex Cukierman & Stefan Gerlach, 2003. "The inflation bias revisited: theory and some international evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(5), pages 541-565, September.
    4. Naveen Srinivasan & Vidya Mahambare & M. Ramachandran, 2006. "UK monetary policy under inflation forecast targeting: is behaviour consistent with symmetric preferences?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 706-721, October.
    5. A. Robert Nobay & David A. Peel, 2003. "Optimal Discretionary Monetary Policy in a Model of Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 657-665, July.
    6. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2004. "The inflation bias when the central bank targets the natural rate of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-107, February.
    7. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Doyle, Matthew & Falk, Barry, 2010. "Do asymmetric central bank preferences help explain observed inflation outcomes?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 527-540, June.
    2. Pierdzioch, Christian & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Stadtmann, Georg, 2012. "On the loss function of the Bank of Canada: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 155-159.
    3. Christian Pierdzioch & Marian Risse & Sebastian Rohloff, 2016. "Fluctuations of the real exchange rate, real interest rates, and the dynamics of the price of gold in a small open economy," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(4), pages 1481-1499, December.
    4. Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2014. "Government Forecasts of Budget Balances Under Asymmetric Loss: International Evidence," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100317, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Srinivasan, Naveen & Jain, Sumit & Ramachandran, M., 2009. "Monetary policy and the behaviour of inflation in India: Is there a need for institutional reform?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 13-24, January.

    More about this item


    Preference asymmetry; Phillips curve nonlinearity; Identification;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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