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

  • Peter Bofinger
  • Eric Mayer

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

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 585.

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Length: 21 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp585
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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," NBER Working Papers 6790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Targeting vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10612, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Hülsewig, Oliver & Mayer, Eric & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2004. "Bank Loan Supply and Monetary Policy Transmission in Germany: An Assessment based on Matching Impulse Responses," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 54, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bofinger, Peter & Mayer, Eric & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2006. "The BMW model: A new framework for teaching monetary economics," Munich Reprints in Economics 20214, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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