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Optimal Monetary Policy when Agents are Learning

  • Krisztina Molnár
  • Sergio Santoro

We derive the optimal monetary policy in a sticky price model when private agents follow adaptive learning. We show that this slight departure from rationality has important implications for policy design. The central bank faces a new intertemporal trade-off, not present under rational expectations: it is optimal to forego stabilizing the economy in the present in order to facilitate private sector learning and thus ease the future intratemporal inflation-output gap trade-offs. The policy recommendation is robust: the welfare loss entailed by the optimal policy under learning if the private sector actually has rational expectations is much smaller than if the central bank mistakenly assumes rational expectations when in fact agents are learning.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-06/cesifo1_wp3072.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3072.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3072
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  14. Fernando Alvarez & Patrick J. Kehoe & Pablo Andrés Neumeyer, 2004. "The Time Consistency of Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 541-567, 03.
  15. Tim W. Cogley & Argia M. Sbordone, 2005. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Working Papers 510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  16. Sergey Slobodyan & Raf Wouters, 2009. "Learning in an Estimated Medium-Scale DSGE Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp396, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  17. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
  18. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Interpreting Inflation Persistence: Comments on the Conference on "Quantitative Evidence on Price Determination"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 203-210, 02.
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