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Should Monetary Policy be Adjusted Frequently?


  • Eijffinger, Sylvester C W
  • Huizinga, Harry


This paper considers the optimal frequency of central bank decision making. This frequency affects the central bank’s flexibility to respond to economic shocks in a timely fashion, and also its credibility to maintain low inflation. Generally, the central bank resets monetary policy less often than the arrival of economic news. By adjusting monetary policy less frequently, the central bank achieves lower inflation at the cost of somewhat higher output variability. Evidence for several key countries (Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) shows that the frequency of actual monetary policy changes is indeed positively related to the inflation rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Huizinga, Harry, 1999. "Should Monetary Policy be Adjusted Frequently?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2074, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2074

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas F. Cargill & Michael M. Hutchison & Takatoshi Ito, 1997. "The Political Economy of Japanese Monetary Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262032473, January.
    2. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    3. Boschen, John F & Mills, Leonard O, 1995. "The Relation between Narrative and Money Market Indicators of Monetary Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 24-44, January.
    4. Eijffinger, S. & De Hann, J., 1995. "The Political Economy of Central Bank Independence," Papers 9587, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    5. 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 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Schaling, E. & Verhagen, W.H., 2007. "Interest rate stepping : Theory and evidence," Other publications TiSEM 1eaada04-4480-4d42-afde-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Robert J. Tetlow, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Traget Instability," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 151-192, December.

    More about this item


    Inflation; monetary policy frequency;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies


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