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Prudent Monetary Policy and Cautious Prediction of the Output Gap

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  • Frederick van der Ploeg

Abstract

Using the results of risk-adjusted linear-quadratic-Gaussian optimal control with perfect and imperfect observation of the economy, we obtain prudent Taylor rules for monetary policies and also allow for imperfect information and cautious Kalman filters. A prudent central bank adjusts the nominal interest rate more aggressively to changes in the inflation gap, especially if the volatility of cost-push shocks is large. If the interest rate impacts the output gap after a lag, the interest also responds to the output gap, especially with strong persistence in aggregate demand. Prudence pushes up this reaction coefficient as well. If data are poor and appear with a lag, a prudent central bank responds less strongly to new measurements of the output gap. However, prudence attenuates this policy reaction and biases the prediction of the output gap upwards, particularly if output targeting is important. Finally, prudence requires an extra upward (downward) bias in its estimate of the output gap before it feeds into the policy rule if inflation is above (below) target. This reinforces nominal interest rate reactions. A general lesson is that prudent predictions are neither efficient nor unbiased.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Prudent Monetary Policy and Cautious Prediction of the Output Gap," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/40, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/40
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    prudence; optimal monetary policy; Taylor rules; measurement errors; prediction;

    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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