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Designing Monetary Policy when Unemployment Persists

  • Lockwood, B.
  • Miller, M.
  • Zhang, L.

This paper investigates how unemployment persistence affects the various proposals advanced as solutions to the problem of inflation bias (namely delegation, contracts and reputation). First, the contract solution is extended to cover the dynamic case. However, as such contracts are not used in practice, we focus on delegation solution. We find that the delegation of policy to a conservative Central Banker still proves attractive in a setting where unemployment persists; but the degree of conservatism depends critically on how the Central Banker discounts the future. Where the Central Banker discounts the future hardly at all, we find that the appropriate strategy is to delegate to candidates who are more conservative the more persistant is unemployment. Finally, we consider briefly how reputational factors might affect this result.

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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 9408.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:9408
Contact details of provider: Postal: Streatham Court, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4PU
Phone: (01392) 263218
Fax: (01392) 263242
Web page: http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/about/departments/economics/

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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 1986. "Wage Setting, Unemployment, and Insider-Outsider Relations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 235-39, May.
  3. Alex Cukierman, 1992. "Central Bank Strategy, Credibility, and Independence: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031981, June.
  4. Svensson, L.E.O., 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," Papers 595, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  5. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  6. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  7. Levine, Paul L & Pearlman, Joseph, 1994. "Labour Market Structure, Conservative Bankers and the Feasibility of Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 903, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  9. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  12. Lockwood, Ben & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 1994. "Insider Power, Unemployment Dynamics and Multiple Inflation Equilibria," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 59-77, February.
  13. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
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