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The Svensson versus McCallum and Nelson Controversy Revisited in the BMW Framework

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  • Peter Bofinger
  • Eric Mayer

Abstract

This note shows that the Svensson versus McCallum and Nelson controversy battled in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Loius Review (September/ October 2005) can be mapped into a static version of a New Keynesian macro model that consists of an IS-equation, a Phillips curve and an inflation targeting central bank (e.g., Bofinger, Mayer, Wollmershäuser, (2006); Walsh (2002)). As a contribution to literature we supplement the controversy by a forceful graphical analysis. The general debate centers on the question by which notion monetary policy should be implemented. The two sides have fundamentally opposite views on this issue. Svensson argues for targeting rules as a notion of optimal monetary policy, whereas McCallum and Nelson promote simple instrument rules. In this note we systematically analyze these two categories of monetary policy rules. In particular we show that the rule discussed by McCallum and Nelson (2005) imposes different degrees of variability on the economy compared to a targeting rule when monetary policy falls prey to measurement error. To our opinion the hybrid Taylor rule developed by McCallum and Nelson contradicts the original idea of simple rules as a heuristic for monetary policy making and should be rebutted for practical reasons

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Bofinger & Eric Mayer, 2006. "The Svensson versus McCallum and Nelson Controversy Revisited in the BMW Framework," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 585, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levin, Andrew T. & Williams, John C., 2003. "Robust monetary policy with competing reference models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 945-975, July.
    2. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
    3. Ireland, Peter N., 2003. "Comment on: Robust monetary policy with competing reference models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 977-982, July.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 225-245.
    5. 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.
    6. Hulsewig, Oliver & Mayer, Eric & Wollmershauser, Timo, 2006. "Bank loan supply and monetary policy transmission in Germany: An assessment based on matching impulse responses," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2893-2910, October.
    7. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 19-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
    9. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy: what is wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 613-626.
    10. Peter Bofinger & Eric Mayer & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2006. "The BMW Model: A New Framework for Teaching Monetary Economics," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 98-117, January.
    11. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
    12. 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.
    13. Carl E. Walsh, 2002. "Teaching Inflation Targeting: An Analysis for Intermediate Macro," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 333-346, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ábel, István & Siklos, Pierre L., 2007. "Mindentől függetlenül. A monetáris politika hatása a gazdasági ciklusra Magyarországon
      [Irrespective of everything. The effect of monetary policy on the economic cycle]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 945-959.

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    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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