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Incorporating Rigidity In The Timing Structure Of Macroeconomic Games

  • Jan Libich


  • Petr Stehlik


This paper proposes a simple framework that generalizes the timing structure of macroeconomic (as well as other) games. Building on alternative move games and models of "rational inattention" the players' actions may be rigid, ie optimally chosen to be infrequent. This rigidity makes the game more dynamic/asynchronous and by linking successive periods it can serve as commitment. Therefore, it can enhance cooperation and often eliminate inefficient equilibrium outcomes. We apply the framework to the Kydland-Prescott-Barro-Gordon monetraty policy game and dervice the conditions - the sufficient degree of commitment - under which the influential time-inconsistency problem disappears. Interestingly, (i) this can happen even in a finite game (possibly as short as two periods), (ii) the required degree of commitment may be rather (even infinitesimally) low and (iii) the policymaker's commitment may substitute for his conservatism and/or patience in achieving credibility. The analysis makes several predictions about explicit inflation targeting and central bank dependence (and their relationship) that we show to be empirically supported. In doing so we show that our theoretical results reconcile some conflicting empirical findings of the literature.

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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2007-10.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2007-10
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  1. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2001. "Does it pay to be transparent? International evidence from central bank forecasts," Bank of England working papers 143, Bank of England.
  2. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 211-21, April.
  3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  4. Waller, Christopher J & Walsh, Carl E, 1996. "Central-Bank Independence, Economic Behavior, and Optimal Term Lengths," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1139-53, December.
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