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Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting

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  • Svensson, Lars E O
  • Williams, Noah

Abstract

We examine optimal and other monetary policies in a linear-quadratic setup with a relatively general form of model uncertainty, so-called Markov jump-linear-quadratic systems extended to include forward-looking variables and unobservable "modes." The form of model uncertainty our framework encompasses includes: simple i.i.d. model deviations; serially correlated model deviations; estimable regime-switching models; more complex structural uncertainty about very different models, for instance, backward- and forward-looking models; time-varying central-bank judgment about the state of model uncertainty; and so forth. We provide an algorithm for finding the optimal policy as well as solutions for arbitrary policy functions. This allows us to compute and plot consistent distribution forecasts - fan charts - of target variables and instruments. Our methods hence extend certainty equivalence and "mean forecast targeting" to more general certainty non-equivalence and "distribution forecast targeting."

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6331
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    Keywords

    multiplicative uncertainty; Optimal policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • 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

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