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Stochastic Optimization and Worst Case Analysis in Monetary Policy Design

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  • Rustem, Berc
  • Wieland, Volker
  • Zakovic, Stan

Abstract

In this paper we compare expected loss minimization to worst-case or minimax analysis in the design of simple Taylor-style rules for monetary policy using a small model estimated for the euro area by Orphanides and Wieland (2000). We find that rules optimized under a minimax objective in the presence of general parameter and shock uncertainty do not imply extreme policy activism. Such rules tend to obey the Brainard principle of cautionary policy-making in much the same way as rules derived by expected loss minimization. Rules derived by means of minimax analysis are effective insurance policies limiting maximum loss over ranges of parameter values to be set by the policy-maker. In practice, we propose to set these ranges with an eye towards the cost of such insurance cover in terms of the implied increase in expected inflation variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Rustem, Berc & Wieland, Volker & Zakovic, Stan, 2005. "Stochastic Optimization and Worst Case Analysis in Monetary Policy Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 5019, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Karakitsos, E. & Rustem, B., 1984. "Optimally derived fixed rules and indicators," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 33-64, October.
    2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
    3. Rustem, Berc, 1994. "Stochastic and robust control of nonlinear economic systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 304-318, March.
    4. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    5. Laurence M. Ball, 1999. "Policy Rules for Open Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 127-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 2003. "The Performance of Forecast-Based Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 622-645, June.
    7. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 537-577, November.
    9. Peter von zur Muehlen, 2001. "Activist vs. non-activist monetary policy: optimal rules under extreme uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
    11. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
    13. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Pitfalls of a Minimax Approach to Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 51-54, May.
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    15. J. Tetlow, Robert & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: Does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 911-949, June.
    16. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leitemo, Kai & Söderström, Ulf, 2008. "Robust monetary policy in a small open economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3218-3252, October.
    2. David Hudgins & Joon Na, 2016. "Entering H $$^{\infty }$$ ∞ -Optimal Control Robustness into a Macroeconomic LQ-Tracking Model," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 121-155, February.
    3. Keith Kuester & Volker Wieland, 2010. "Insurance Policies for Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 872-912, June.
    4. Crowley, Patrick M. & Hudgins, David, 2015. "Fiscal policy tracking design in the time–frequency domain using wavelet analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 502-514.
    5. Arnulfo Rodriguez, 2004. "Robust Control: A Note on the Timing of Model Uncertainty," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 209-221, July.
    6. Lim, G.C. & McNelis, Paul D., 2007. "Inflation targeting, learning and Q volatility in small open economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3699-3722, November.
    7. Gadi Barlevy, 2009. "Policymaking under uncertainty: Gradualism and robustness," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 38-55.
    8. Q. Farooq Akram & Yakov Ben-Haim & Øyvind Eitrheim, 2006. "Managing uncertainty through robust-satisficing monetary policy," Working Paper 2006/10, Norges Bank.
    9. Esteban-Bravo, Mercedes & Vidal-Sanz, Jose M., 2007. "Worst-case estimation for econometric models with unobservable components," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3330-3354, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    euro area; minimax; monetary policy rules; robust control; worst-case analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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