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Timeless Perspective Vs Discretionary Monetary Policy in Forward-Looking Models

  • McCallum, Bennett T
  • Nelson, Edward

This Paper reviews the distinction between the timeless perspective and discretionary modes of monetary policymaking, the former representing rule-based policy as recently formalized by Woodford (1999b). In models with forward-looking expectations there is typically a second inefficiency from discretionary policymaking, besides the inflationary bias. The Paper presents calculations of the quantitative magnitude of this second inefficiency, using calibrated models of two prominent types; it examines the distinction between instrument rules and targeting rules; and briefly investigates operationality issues involving the unobservability of current output and the possibility that an incorrect concept of the natural-rate level of output is used by the policymaker.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2752.

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Date of creation: Mar 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2752
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  1. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
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  9. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Batini, Nicoletta & Nelson, Edward, 2001. "Optimal horizons for inflation targeting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 891-910, June.
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  20. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
  21. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
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  24. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1999. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semiclassical Structural Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 15-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-11, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Feb 2004.
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  28. Smets, Frank, 2000. "What horizon for price stability," Working Paper Series 0024, European Central Bank.
  29. Bennett T. McCallum, . "Role of the minimal state variable criterion in rational expectations models," GSIA Working Papers 1999-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  30. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Hoshi, Takeo & Ito, Takatoshi & Rose, Andrew, 2006. "International Finance," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 455-458, December.
  32. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  36. Aoki, Kosuke, 2006. "Optimal commitment policy under noisy information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 81-109, January.
  37. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  39. Charles Freedman & Douglas Laxton, 2009. "Why Inflation Targeting?," IMF Working Papers 09/86, International Monetary Fund.
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