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Robust Delegation with Uncertain Monetary Policy Preferences

  • Marco M. Sorge

Recent research has renewed interest in the exploration of the optimal design of monetary policy institutions in the presence of uncertainty. In this paper, we revisit the rationale for delegation to a weight-conservative central banker when the social planner’s knowledge about the true preferences of delegates is ex ante ambiguous and he exhibits a preference for robustness. In this context, a robust (worst-case oriented) delegation strategy is intended to minimize the maximum welfare loss over the uncertainty set, when no prior probability distribution for the preference bias (conservatism-gap) is available. We find that both over and underconservatism may emerge with respect to the certainty case, for robust delegation is shown to be model-dependent. Most importantly, under reasonable model’s parameterizations, Rogoff’s principle is reversed: it is optimal for society to appoint a weight-liberal central banker.

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Paper provided by Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels in its series EERI Research Paper Series with number EERI_RP_2012_05.

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Date of creation: 05 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:eei:rpaper:eeri_rp_2012_05
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  1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-45, December.
  2. Beetsma, Roel & Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Inflation Targets and Contracts with Uncertain Central Banker Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 1562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Dennis, Richard, 2010. "How robustness can lower the cost of discretion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 653-667, September.
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  7. Kai Leitemo & Ulf Soderstrom, 2004. "Robust Monetary Policy in the New-Keynesian Framework," Working Papers 273, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Centralized Wage Setting and Monetary Policy in a Reputational Equilibrium," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 102-18, February.
  9. Tillmann Peter, 2009. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Conservatism? Robustness and the Delegation of Monetary Policy," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-28, June.
  10. Li Qin & Moïse Sidiropoulos & Eleftherios Spyromitros, 2010. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty About Central Bank Preferences," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 197-208, 04.
  11. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2003. "Modeling Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1087-1122, 09.
  12. Carsten Hefeker & Blandine Zimmer, 2010. "Central bank independence and conservatism under uncertainty: Substitutes or complements?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 140-10, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  13. Tillmann, Peter, 2009. "The stabilization bias and robust monetary policy delegation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 730-734, December.
  14. Sidiropoulos, Moïse & Diana, Giuseppe, 2006. "Robust Control and Monetary Policy Delegation," MPRA Paper 23715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Lippi, Francesco, 2002. "Revisiting the case for a populist central banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 601-612, March.
  16. Tillmann, Peter, 2008. "The conservative central banker revisited: Too conservative is more costly than too liberal," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 737-741, December.
  17. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  18. Guzzo, Vincenzo & Velasco, Andres, 1999. "The case for a populist Central Banker," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1317-1344, June.
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