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Incorporating Rigidity In The Timing Structure Of Macroeconomic Games

Author

Listed:
  • Jan Libich
  • Petr Stehlik

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple framework that generalizes the timing structure of macroeconomic (as well as other) games. Building on alternating 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 monetary policy game and derive 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 independence (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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Libich & Petr Stehlik, 2007. "Incorporating Rigidity In The Timing Structure Of Macroeconomic Games," CAMA Working Papers 2007-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2007-10
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    File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2017-02/10_libich_stehlik_2007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2002. "Does it pay to be transparent? international evidence form central bank forecasts," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 99-118.
    2. Eijffinger, Sylvester & Schaling, Eric & Hoeberichts, Marco, 1998. "Central bank independence: A sensitivity analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 73-88, February.
    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 1139-1153, December.
    5. David Backus & John Driffill, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 211-221.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Libich, Jan & Stehlík, Petr, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction with Various Degrees and Types of Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Libich Jan, 2011. "Inflation Nutters? Modelling the Flexibility of Inflation Targeting," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-36, June.
    3. Libich, Jan, 2008. "An explicit inflation target as a commitment device," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-68, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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