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Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability? - Theory and Evidence

  • Alex Cukierman
  • V. Anton Muscatelli

This paper analyses the impact of asymmetric preferences with respect to inflation and output by policymakers on interest-rate reaction functions and test for their existence. A modified New Keynesian framework which makes it possible to identify the dominant type of asymmetry is developed and related to the precautionary demand of policymakers for expansions and for low inflation. Using data for four G7 economies, the paper shows that, except for Germany, nonlinear and asymmetric behaviour is present. A main finding, for the US, is that after credibility-building and disinflation have been established, the monetary authority develops a greater precautionary demand for output expansions than for low inflation. This may generate a new type of inflation bias. Conversely, where, as is the case in the UK, credibility-building is still a concern for the authorities, managing the business cycle is dominated by concerns of the monetary authorities to keep inflation expectations low.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-08/764.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 764.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_764
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  1. Anton Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2000. "Does Institutional Change Really Matter? Inflation Targets, Central Bank Reform and Interest Rate Policy in the OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 278, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2000. "Open-economy inflation targeting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 155-183, February.
  3. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  5. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler & J. David Lopez-Salido, 2001. "European Inflation Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Rudebusch , Glenn, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Seminar Papers 637, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
  9. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Willem H. Buiter, 1999. "Alice in Euroland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20226, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. 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.
  13. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  14. Bennett T. McCallum, 1996. "Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dolado, Juan J. & María-Dolores, Ramón & Naveira Barrero, Manuel, 2000. "Asymmetries In Monetary Policy Rules: Evidence For Four Central Banks," CEPR Discussion Papers 2441, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew Haldane, 1999. "Forward-Looking Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 157-202 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Alex Cukierman, 2002. "Are contemporary central banks transparent about economic models and objectives and what difference does it make?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-36.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  19. A. Robert Nobay & David A. Peel, 1998. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Model of Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences," FMG Discussion Papers dp306, Financial Markets Group.
  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  21. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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