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Monetary policy with judgment: forecast targeting

  • Svensson, Lars E. O.

“Forecast targeting,” forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the U.S. economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A practical finite-horizon approximation is used. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank’s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit. JEL Classification: E42, E52, E58

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0476.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050476
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  1. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1994. "Recursive contracts," Economics Working Papers 337, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 1998.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  4. Lindé, Jesper, 2001. "Estimating New-Keynesian Phillips Curves: A Full Information Maximum Likelihood Approach," Working Paper Series 129, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 30 Apr 2001.
  5. Noah Williams & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 108, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  7. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," Papers 646, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1986. "The Consistency of Optimal Policy in Stochastic Rational Expectations Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  11. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Targeting versus instrument rules for monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 597-612.
  13. Sharon Kozicki, 1999. "How useful are Taylor rules for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-33.
  14. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Walsh, Carl E, 2004. "Robustly Optimal Instrument Rules and Robust Control: An Equivalence Result," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 1105-13, December.
  16. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
  17. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2004. "Targeting Rules vs. Instrument Rules for Monetary Policy: What is Wrong with McCallum and Nelson?," NBER Working Papers 10747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  19. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: a re-examination," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 139, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," International Finance Discussion Papers 807, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Lars E.O. Svensson & Robert J. Tetlow, 2005. "Optimal Policy Projections," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
  22. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  23. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  24. Lars E.O. Svensson & Kjetil Houg & Haakon O.Aa. Solheim & Erling Steigum, 2002. "An Independent Review of Monetary Policy and Institutions in Norway," Working Papers 120, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521104609 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Reifschneider, David L. & Stockton, David J. & Wilcox, David W., 1997. "Econometric models and the monetary policy process," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-37, December.
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