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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. Lars E O Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Bank of England working papers 56, Bank of England.
  2. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 983-1022, July.
  8. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0014, European Central Bank.
  9. Cukierman, A. & Miller, G.P. & Neyapti, B., 2000. "Central Bank Reform, Liberalization and Inflation in Transition Economies : An International Perspective," Discussion Paper 2000-106, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  12. Taylor, John B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by the European Central Bank," Seminar Papers 649, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1992. "Monetary policy with uncertain estimates of potential output," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Jan, pages 2-15.
  14. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 19-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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  18. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2001. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0059, European Central Bank.
  19. Siklos,Pierre L., 2006. "The Changing Face of Central Banking," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521034494, September.
  20. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Eric T. Swanson, 2000. "On signal extraction and non-certainty-equivalence in optimal monetary policy rules," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  22. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1993. "Recursive linear models of dynamic economies," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  23. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  24. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  27. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, June.
  28. 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.
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