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Monetary Policy with Judgement: Forecast Targeting

  • Svensson, Lars E O

‘Forecast targeting’, forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the US economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A complicated infinite-horizon central bank projection model of the economy can be closely approximated by a simple finite system of linear equations, which is easily solved for the optimal policy projections. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank’s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5072.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5072
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  1. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1986. "The Consistency of Optimal Policy in Stochastic Rational Expectations Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Svensson, Lars O & Tetlow, Robert J, 2005. "Optimal Policy Projections," MPRA Paper 839, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
  5. Albert Marcet and Ramon Marimon, 2011. "Recursive Contracts," Working Papers 552, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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  7. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," International Finance Discussion Papers 807, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 597-612.
  9. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: a re-examination," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 139, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Svensson, Lars E O & Williams, Noah, 2007. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 6331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
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  15. Linde, Jesper, 2005. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips curves: A full information maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1135-1149, September.
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  18. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  19. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2004. "Targeting Rules vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy: What is Wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," NBER Working Papers 10747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
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  22. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  23. Lars E.O. Svensson & Kjetil Houg & Haakon O.Aa. Solheim & Erling Steigum, 2002. "An Independent Review of Monetary Policy and Institutions in Norway," Working Papers 120, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  24. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  25. Walsh, Carl E, 2004. "Robustly Optimal Instrument Rules and Robust Control: An Equivalence Result," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-13, December.
  26. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
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