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Endogenous Monetary Policy with Unobserved Potential Output

  • Cukierman, Alex
  • Lippi, Francesco

This Paper characterizes endogenous monetary policy when policymakers are uncertain about the extent to which movements in output and inflation are due to changes in potential output or to cyclical demand and cost shocks. We refer to this informational limitation as the ‘information problem’ (IP). Main results of the Paper are: 1. Policy is likely to be excessively loose (restrictive) for some time when there is a large decrease (increase) in potential output in comparison to a full information benchmark. This provides a partial but unified explanation for the inflation of the seventies and the price stability of the nineties. 2. Errors in forecasting potential output and the output gap are generally serially correlated. 3. A quantitative assessment, based on an empirical model of the US economy developed by Rudebusch and Svensson (1999) indicates that, during and following periods of large changes in potential output, the IP significantly affects the dynamics of inflation and output. 4. The increase in the Fed’s conservativeness between the seventies and the nineties, and a more realistic appreciation of the uncertainties surrounding potential output in the second period, imply that the IP problem had a stronger impact in the seventies than in the nineties.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3763.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3763
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  1. Cukierman, A. & Miller, G.P. & Neyapti, B., 2000. "Central Bank Rerform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies - an International Perspective," Papers 2000-19, Tel Aviv.
  2. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2001. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0059, European Central Bank.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  6. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
  10. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2000-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  13. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 9747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  15. Eric Swanson, 2000. "On Signal Extraction and Non-Certainty-Equivalence in Optimal Monetary Policy Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1085, Econometric Society.
  16. Swanson, Eric T., 2004. "Signal Extraction And Non-Certainty-Equivalence In Optimal Monetary Policy Rules," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 27-50, February.
  17. Kenneth Kuttner, 1992. "Monetary policy with uncertain estimates of potential output," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 2-15.
  18. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  19. Kevin J. Lansing, 2002. "Learning about a shift in trend output: implications for monetary policy and inflation," Working Paper Series 2000-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, August.
  21. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1996. "How Precise are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Working Papers 5477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  23. Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1994. "Estimating Potential Output as a Latent Variable," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 361-68, July.
  24. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1990. "Recursive Linear Models of Dynamic Economies," NBER Working Papers 3479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gerali, Andrea & Lippi, Francesco, 2003. "Optimal Control and Filtering in Linear Forward-looking Economies: A Toolkit," CEPR Discussion Papers 3706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Brunner, Karl & Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H., 1980. "Stagflation, persistent unemployment and the permanence of economic shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 467-492, October.
  27. Taylor, J.B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by European Central Bank," Papers 649, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  28. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521780254 is not listed on IDEAS
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