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The Elusive Welfare Economics of Price Stability As A Monetary Policy Objective: Should New Keynesian Central Bankers Persue Price Stability

  • Buiter, Willem H.

The Paper studies the inflation rate associated with optimal monetary policy in a standard suite of DSGE models, when fiscal policy is either unrestricted optimal or restricted but supportive of monetary policy. Full nominal price flexibility, nominal prices set one period in advance and Calvo-style staggered overlapping price contracts with a variety of indexation rules for constrained price setters are considered. For all price setting models, optimal monetary policy implements the Bailey-Friedman Optimal Quantity of Money (OQM) rule: the pecuniary opportunity cost of holding money is equal to zero. There is an optimal inflation rate for producer prices in the Calvo model, given by the 'core inflation' process generated by the indexation rule of the constrained price setters. It is constant only if core inflation is constant. A zero rate of producer price inflation is necessary for optimality in the Calvo model, only if all of the following conditions hold. (1) There is no money or the nominal interest rate on money can be set freely. (2) The constrained price setters of the Calvo model implement an ill-posed, arbitrary price indexation rule, such as the lagged partial indexation rule used by Woodford to make a case for price stability. (3) The authorities use neither their tax instruments nor the nominal interest rate to validate the core inflation process. These results are global – they do not depend on linear approximations at a deterministic, zero-inflation steady state.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4730.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4730
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  1. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1991. "State-Dependent Pricing and the Dynamics of Money and Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 683-708, August.
  2. Willem Buiter & Anne Sibert, 2004. "Deflationary Bubbles," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0409, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brock, William A, 1974. "Money and Growth: The Case of Long Run Perfect Foresight," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 15(3), pages 750-77, October.
  5. Willem H. Buiter, 1985. "International Monetary Policy to Promote Economic Recovery," NBER Working Papers 1584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 9747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  8. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  9. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hall Robert, 2002. "Controlling the Price Level," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, July.
  11. Buiter, Willem H. & Panigirtzoglou, Nikolaos, 1999. "Liquidity Traps: How to Avoid Them and How to Escape Them," CEPR Discussion Papers 2203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Goodfriend, Marvin, 2000. "Overcoming the Zero Bound on Interest Rate Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 1007-35, November.
  13. Buiter, Willem H., 2004. "A Small Corner of Intertemporal Public Finance - New Developments in Monetary Economics: Two Ghosts, Two Eccentricities, a Fallacy, a Mirage and a Mythos," CEPR Discussion Papers 4407, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Freedman, Charles, 2000. "Monetary Policy Implementation: Past, Present and Future--Will Electronic Money Lead to the Eventual Demise of Central Banking?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 211-27, July.
  15. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Price Stability as a Target for Monetary Policy: Defining and Maintaining Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 7276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Costa Storti, Cláudia & De Grauwe, Paul, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Cashless Society," CEPR Discussion Papers 2696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Willem H. Buiter, 1984. "Policy evaluation and design for continuous time linear rational expectations models: some recent development," NBER Technical Working Papers 0034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  19. M. Fase, 2005. "On Economics and Religion," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 85-106, December.
  20. Caplin, Andrew S & Spulber, Daniel F, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-25, November.
  21. Charles Goodhart, 2000. "Can Central Banking Survive the IT Revolution?," FMG Special Papers sp125, Financial Markets Group.
  22. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Overcoming the zero bound on nominal interest rates with negative interest on currency : Gesell's solution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 848, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  24. Willem H. Buiter & Marcus H. Miller, 1983. "Costs and Benefits of an Anti-Inflationary Policy: Questions and Issues," NBER Working Papers 1252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Buiter, Willem H & Jewitt, Ian, 1981. "Staggered Wage Setting with Real Wage Relativities: Variations on a Theme of Taylor," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 49(3), pages 211-28, September.
  26. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  27. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army With Only a Signal Corps," NBER Working Papers 7420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Friedman, Benjamin M, 1999. "The Future of Monetary Policy: The Central Bank as an Army with Only a Signal Corps?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 321-38, November.
  29. Goodhart, Charles A E, 2000. "Can Central Banking Survive the IT Revolution?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 189-209, July.
  30. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
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