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Optimal Monetary Policy using a VAR

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  • Polito, Vito
  • Wickens, Michael R.

Abstract

In this paper we propose a new way to formulate optimal policy based on a quadratic intertemporal welfare function where the dynamic constraint is based on a VAR model of the economy which we call the PVAR method. We argue that the VAR under control should not be derived simply by replacing the VAR equation for the policy instruments by an optimal control rule because this alters the stochastic structure of the VAR. Instead, one should first transform the VAR in order to condition the non-policy variables on the policy instruments, then use the resulting sub-system as the dynamic constraint, and finally construct the VAR under control by combining this sub-system with the resulting optimal policy rule. In this way the original stochastic structure of the VAR is retained. In comparing the two approaches we explain the theoretical advantages of the PVAR over the standard method and we illustrate the methods by examining the formulation of optimal monetary policy for the US. We suggest that since the whole process is easily automated, the PVAR method may provide a useful benchmark for use in real time against which to compare other, probably far more labour intensive, policy choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Polito, Vito & Wickens, Michael R., 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy using a VAR," CEPR Discussion Papers 6957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6957
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jasper Lukkezen & Coen Teulings, 2013. "Optimal Fiscal Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-064/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Gabrisch, Hubert & Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2010. "The Extreme Risk Problem for Monetary Policies of the Euro-Candidates," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2010, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Vito Polito & Peter Spencer, "undated". "UK Macroeconomic Volatility and the Welfare Costs of Inflation," Discussion Papers 11/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Hubert Gabrisch & Lucjan T Orlowski, 2011. "Extreme Risks in Financial Markets and Monetary Policies of the Euro-Candidates," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 53(4), pages 511-534, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; optimal control; VAR models;

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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