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Discretion rather than rules? When is discretionary policy-making better than the timeless perspective?

  • Sauer, Stephan
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    Discretionary monetary policy produces a dynamic loss in the New Keynesian model in the presence of cost-push shocks. The possibility to commit to a specific policy rule can increase welfare. A number of authors since Woodford (1999) have argued in favour of a timeless perspective rule as an optimal policy. The short-run costs associated with the timeless perspective are neglected in general, however. Rigid prices, relatively impatient households, a high preference of policy makers for output stabilisation and a deviation from the steady state all worsen the performance of the timeless perspective rule and can make it inferior to discretion. JEL Classification: E5

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    File URL: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp717.pdf
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    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0717.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070717
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    1. 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 473-91, June.
    2. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Timeless perspective vs. discretionary monetary policy in forward-looking models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 43-56.
    5. Andy Levin & Jinill Kim, 2004. "Conditional Welfare Comparisons of Monetary Policy Rules," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 667, Econometric Society.
    6. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim & Ernst Schaumburg & Christopher A. Sims, 2003. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solutions of Discrete Time," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000284, UCLA Department of Economics.
    7. Blake, Andrew P., 2002. "A 'Timeless Perspective' on Optimality in Forward-Looking Rational Expectations Models," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 30, Royal Economic Society.
    8. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
    9. Bennett T. McCallum, . "Role of the minimal state variable criterion in rational expectations models," GSIA Working Papers 1999-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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