IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/9820.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus infl‡ation targeting: a survey

Author

Listed:
  • Hatcher, Michael
  • Minford, Patrick

Abstract

We survey recent literature comparing inflation targeting (IT) and price-level targeting (PT) as macroeconomic stabilization policies. Our focus is on New Keynesian models and areas which have seen significant developments since Ambler’s (2009) survey: the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates; financial frictions; and optimal monetary policy. Ambler’s main conclusion that PT improves the inflation-output volatility trade-off in New Keynesian models is reasonably robust to these extensions, several of which are attempts to address issues raised by the recent financial crisis. The beneficial effects of PT therefore appear to hang on the joint assumption that agents are rational and the economy New Keynesian. Accordingly, we discuss recent experimental and survey evidence on whether expectations are rational, as well as the applied macro literature on the empirical performance of New Keynesian models. In addition, we discuss a more recent strand of applied literature that has formally tested New Keynesian models with rational expectations. Overall the evidence is not conclusive, but we note that New Keynesian models are able to match a number of dynamic features in the data and that behavioral models of the macroeconomy are outperformed by those with rational expectations in formal statistical tests. Accordingly, we argue that policymakers should continue to pay attention to PT.

Suggested Citation

  • Hatcher, Michael & Minford, Patrick, 2014. "Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus infl‡ation targeting: a survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 9820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9820
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9820
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stephanie Schmitt‐Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2733-2764, November.
    2. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    3. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
    5. Bailliu, Jeannine & Meh, Cesaire & Zhang, Yahong, 2015. "Macroprudential rules and monetary policy when financial frictions matter," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 148-161.
    6. Huw Dixon & Hervé Le Bihan, 2012. "Generalised Taylor and Generalised Calvo Price and Wage Setting: Micro‐evidence with Macro Implications," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 532-554, May.
    7. Lim, G.C. & McNelis, Paul D., 2008. "Computational Macroeconomics for the Open Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262123061, March.
    8. Francisco Covas & Yahong Zhang, 2010. "Price-level versus inflation targeting with financial market imperfections," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1302-1332, November.
    9. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    10. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
    11. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
    12. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 15-38, March.
    13. Anton Nakov, 2008. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 73-127, June.
    14. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2012. "The Quantitative Importance of News Shocks in Estimated DSGE Models," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(8), pages 1535-1561, December.
    15. Tony Yates, 2004. "Monetary Policy and the Zero Bound to Interest Rates: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18, pages 427-481, July.
    16. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    17. Andrew P. Blake & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2012. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in LQ RE Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1309-1339.
    18. ap Gwilym, Rhys, 2010. "Can behavioral finance models account for historical asset prices?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 187-189, August.
    19. Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1996. "The Empirical Foundations of Calibration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 87-104, Winter.
    20. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2007. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 728-752, April.
    21. Ippei Fujiwara & Yasuo Hirose & Mototsugu Shintani, 2011. "Can News Be a Major Source of Aggregate Fluctuations? A Bayesian DSGE Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 1-29, February.
    22. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis & Justin Wolfers, 2004. "Disagreement about Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 209-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    24. Blake, Andy & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Yates, Tony, 2011. "The gains from delegation revisited: price-level targeting, speed-limit and interest rate smoothing policies," Bank of England working papers 415, Bank of England.
    25. Le, Vo Phuong Mai & Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Wickens, Michael, 2011. "How much nominal rigidity is there in the US economy? Testing a new Keynesian DSGE model using indirect inference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2078-2104.
    26. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    27. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    28. Steve Ambler, 2009. "Price-Level Targeting And Stabilisation Policy: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(5), pages 974-997, December.
    29. Steve Ambler, 2007. "The Costs of Inflation in New Keynesian Models," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2007(Winter), pages 7-16.
    30. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
    31. Carl E. Walsh, 2011. "The Future of Inflation Targeting," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(s1), pages 23-36, September.
    32. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Peel, David, 2007. "Simulating stock returns under switching regimes - A new test of market efficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 235-239, February.
    33. Robert Amano & Steve Ambler & Malik Shukayev, 2012. "Optimal price-level drift under commitment in the canonical New Keynesian model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(3), pages 1023-1036, August.
    34. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2007. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 171-199.
    35. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:532-554 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Robert Amano & Jim Engle-Warnick & Malik Shukayev, 2011. "Price-Level Targeting and Inflation Expectations: Experimental Evidence," Staff Working Papers 11-18, Bank of Canada.
    37. Emmanuel Dhyne & Luis J. Alvarez & Herve Le Bihan & Giovanni Veronese & Daniel Dias & Johannes Hoffmann & Nicole Jonker & Patrick Lunnemann & Fabio Rumler & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Price Changes in the Euro Area and the United States: Some Facts from Individual Consumer Price Data," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 171-192, Spring.
    38. Liu, Chunping & Minford, Patrick, 2014. "Comparing behavioural and rational expectations for the US post-war economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 407-415.
    39. Ali Dib & Caterina Mendicino & Yahong Zhang, 2008. "Price Level Targeting in a Small Open Economy with Financial Frictions: Welfare Analysis," Staff Working Papers 08-40, Bank of Canada.
    40. Nessen, Marianne & Vestin, David, 2005. "Average Inflation Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 837-863, October.
    41. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
    42. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
    43. Gerberding, Christina & Gerke, Rafael & Hammermann, Felix, 2012. "Price-level targeting when there is price-level drift," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 757-768.
    44. Sergey Slobodyan & Raf Wouters, 2012. "Learning in a Medium-Scale DSGE Model with Expectations Based on Small Forecasting Models," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 65-101, April.
    45. Maddock, Rodney & Carter, Michael, 1982. "A Child's Guide to Rational Expectations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 39-51, March.
    46. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    47. Masson, Paul R. & Shukayev, Malik D., 2011. "Are bygones not bygones? Modeling price-level targeting with an escape clause and lessons from the gold standard," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 162-175, June.
    48. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-1151, September.
    49. Shiller, Robert J., 1978. "Rational expectations and the dynamic structure of macroeconomic models : A critical review," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-44, January.
    50. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
    51. Smith, A A, Jr, 1993. "Estimating Nonlinear Time-Series Models Using Simulated Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages 63-84, Suppl. De.
    52. Andolfatto, David & Hendry, Scott & Moran, Kevin, 2008. "Are inflation expectations rational?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 406-422, March.
    53. Bonham, Carl S & Cohen, Richard H, 2001. "To Aggregate, Pool, or Neither: Testing the Rational-Expectations Hypothesis Using Survey Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 278-291, July.
    54. Paul De Grauwe, 2010. "Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Macroeconomics," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(4), pages 465-497, December.
    55. Andrew Levin & David López-Salido & Edward Nelson & Yack Yun, 2010. "Limitations on the Effectiveness of Forward Guidance at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 6(1), pages 143-189, March.
    56. Donald Coletti & René Lalonde & Dirk Muir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Price-Level-Path Targeting in the Global Economy Model: Some Open Economy Considerations," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(2), pages 326-338, June.
    57. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    58. Andrew S. Caplin & Daniel F. Spulber, 1987. "Menu Costs and the Neutrality of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 703-725.
    59. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    60. Steve Ambler, 2009. "Price-Level Targeting and Stabilization Policy: A Review," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2009(Spring), pages 21-31.
    61. Dib, Ali & Mendicino, Caterina & Zhang, Yahong, 2013. "Price-level targeting rules and financial shocks: The case of Canada," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 941-953.
    62. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. "Price-Level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 277-295, August.
    63. James Costain & Anton Nakov, 2011. "Price Adjustments in a General Model of State‐Dependent Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 385-406, March.
    64. Fabio Milani, 2012. "The Modeling of Expectations in Empirical DSGE Models: a Survey," Working Papers 121301, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    65. Batini, Nicoletta & Yates, Anthony, 2003. " Hybrid Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 283-300, June.
    66. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    67. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    68. Marc P. Giannoni, 2010. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules in a Forward-Looking Model, and Inflation Stabilization versus Price-Level Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 15986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    69. Carlson, John A & Parkin, J Michael, 1975. "Inflation Expectations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 42(166), pages 123-138, May.
    70. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    71. Stephen Murchison, 2010. "Price-Level Targeting and Relative-Price Shocks," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2010(Summer), pages 11-21.
    72. Douglas Laxton, 2008. "Getting to Know the Global Economy Model and Its Philosophy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(2), pages 213-242, June.
    73. 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.
    74. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
    75. Donald Coletti & René Lalonde & Dirk Muir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Price-Level-Path Targeting in the GEM: Some Open Economy Considerations," Staff Working Papers 08-6, Bank of Canada.
    76. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Binder, Carola Conces, 2016. "Estimation of historical inflation expectations," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-31.
    2. Le, Vo Phuong Mai & Matthews, Kent & Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Xiao, Zhiguo, 2015. "China’s financial crisis – the role of banks and monetary policy," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2015/1, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    3. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Gerhard Illing & Thomas Siemsen, 2016. "Forward Guidance at the Zero Lower Bound in a Model of Price-Level Targeting," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(1), pages 47-67.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inflation targeting; price level targeting; Rational Expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9820. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.