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The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals

  • Ellison, Martin

In this Paper, we suggest a new motivation for why central banks appear averse to reversing recent changes in their interest rate. We show, in a standard monetary model with forward-looking expectations, data uncertainty and parameter uncertainty, that there is a learning cost associated with interest rate reversals. A policy that frequently reverses the interest rate makes it more difficult for the central bank and private agents to learn the key parameters of the model. Optimal monetary policy internalizes this learning cost and therefore has a lower number of interest rate reversals. The incentive to reduce the number of interest rate reversals is in addition to the optimal policy inertia created by the presence of forward-looking expectations and uncertainty in the model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4135.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4135
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  1. 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.
  2. Marcet, A. & Marimon, R., 1998. "Recursive Contracts," Economics Working Papers eco98/37, European University Institute.
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  10. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1991. "Learning, Experimentation and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1991018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  16. Cripps, Martin, 1988. "Learning Rational Expectations In A Policy Game," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 297, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Policy with Partial Information in a Forward-Looking Model: Certainty-Equivalence Redux," NBER Working Papers 9430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kurmann, Andre, 2007. "VAR-based estimation of Euler equations with an application to New Keynesian pricing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 767-796, March.
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