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Complexity and Monetary Policy

  • Orphanides, Athanasios
  • Wieland, Volker

The complexity resulting from intertwined uncertainties regarding model misspecification and mismeasurement of the state of the economy defines the monetary policy landscape. Using the euro area as laboratory this paper explores the design of robust policy guides aiming to maintain stability in the economy while recognizing this complexity. We document substantial output gap mismeasurement and make use of a new model data base to capture the evolution of model specification. A simple interest rate rule is employed to interpret ECB policy since 1999. An evaluation of alternative policy rules across 11 models of the euro area confirms the fragility of policy analysis optimized for any specific model and shows the merits of model averaging in policy design. Interestingly, a simple difference rule with the same coefficients on inflation and output growth as the one used to interpret ECB policy is quite robust as long as it responds to current outcomes of these variables.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9107.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9107
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  1. Beck, Guenter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2008. "Central bank misperceptions and the role of money in interest-rate rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S1-S17, October.
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  8. Matteo Iacoviello, 2002. "House prices, borrowing constraints and monetary policy in the business cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 542, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 06 Dec 2004.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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  13. Christoffel, Kai & Coenen, Günter & Warne, Anders, 2008. "The New Area-Wide Model of the euro area: a micro-founded open-economy model for forecasting and policy analysis," Working Paper Series 0944, European Central Bank.
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  15. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The Zero-Interest Rate Bound and the Role of the Exchange Rate for Monetary Policy in Japan," CEPR Discussion Papers 3895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Ratto, Marco & Roeger, Werner & Veld, Jan in 't, 2009. "QUEST III: An estimated open-economy DSGE model of the euro area with fiscal and monetary policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 222-233, January.
  19. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  20. Wieland, Volker & Cwik, Tobias & Müller, Gernot J. & Schmidt, Sebastian & Wolters, Maik, 2012. "A new comparative approach to macroeconomic modeling and policy analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 523-541.
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  22. Guenter W. Beck & Volker Wieland, 2007. "Money in Monetary Policy Design: A Formal Characterization of ECB-Style Cross-Checking," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 524-533, 04-05.
  23. Andrea Gerali & Stefano Neri & Luca Sessa & Federico M. Signoretti, 2010. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE Model of the Euro Area," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 107-141, 09.
  24. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
  25. Taylor, John B. & Wieland, Volker, 2010. "Surprising comparative properties of monetary models: Results from a new model database," Working Paper Series 1261, European Central Bank.
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  27. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
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