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Structural Uncertainty and Central Bank Conservatism: The Ignorant Should Keep Their Eyes Shut

  • Rosal, Joao Mauricio
  • Spagat, Michael

We study the problem of a central bank whose policy actions simultaneously affect the information flow about its expectations-augmented Phillips curve and its reputation for toughness in fighting inflation. In an environment with an unknown relationship between inflation surprises and output, big inflation surprises yield big short-term output gains and a strong information flow. Yet optimal policy is very conservative because inflation surprises yield information that increases the volatility of both future inflationary expectations and inflation itself. In fact, the more there is that can be learned about the Phillips curve the less does optimal policy aim towards learning.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3568.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3568
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  1. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
  2. Henrik Jensen, . "Optimal Degrees of Tranaparency in Monetary Policymaking," EPRU Working Paper Series 01-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2005. "Performance of monetary policy with internal central bank forecasting," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 627-658, April.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Kihlstrom, Richard E & Mirman, Leonard J, 1977. "A Bayesian Approach to the Production of Information and Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 533-47, October.
  5. Volker Wieland, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  7. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
  8. David Backus & John Driffill, 1984. "Inflation and Reputation," Working Papers 560, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Martin Ellison & Natacha Valla, 2000. "Learning, Uncertainty And Central Bank Activism In An Economy With Strategic Interactions," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2001. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-6, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 03 Aug 2001.
  11. 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.
  12. Prescott, Edward C, 1972. "The Multi-Period Control Problem Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1043-58, November.
  13. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
  14. Hans Gersbach, 2003. "On the negative social value of central banks' knowledge transparency," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 91-102, 08.
  15. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1996. "Monetary Policy as a Process of Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 689-702, September.
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