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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. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Buiter, Willem H., 2004. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 4202, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Costa Storti, Cláudia & De Grauwe, Paul, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Cashless Society," CEPR Discussion Papers 2696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Andrew C. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Willem H. Buiter, 1985. "International Monetary Policy to Promote Economic Recovery," NBER Working Papers 1584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Buiter, Willem H. & Sibert, Anne, 2006. "Deflationary Bubbles," CEPR Discussion Papers 5637, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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  23. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  24. 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.
  25. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Charles Goodhart, 2000. "Can Central Banking Survive the IT Revolution?," FMG Special Papers sp125, Financial Markets Group.
  27. 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.
  28. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-20, April.
  29. 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.
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