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Impacts of priors on convergence and escapes from Nash inflation


  • Thomas J. Sargent
  • Noah Williams


Recent papers have analyzed how adaptive agents may converge to and escape from self-confirming equilibria. All of these papers have imputed to agents a particular prior about drifting coefficients. In the context of a model of monetary policy, this paper analyzes dynamics that govern both convergence and escape under a more general class of priors for the government. The authors characterize how the shape of the prior influences the dynamics in important ways. There are priors for which the E-stability condition is not enough to assure local convergence to a self-confirming equilibrium. Their analysis also tracks down the source of differences in the sustainability of Ramsey inflation encountered in the analyses of Sims (1988) and Chung (1990), on the one hand, and Cho, Williams, and Sargent (2002), on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams, 2003. "Impacts of priors on convergence and escapes from Nash inflation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2003-14

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
    2. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
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    4. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.
    5. William Poole & Robert H. Rasche, 2002. "Flation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 1-6.
      • William Poole, 2002. "Flation," Speech 49, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    7. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
    8. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
    9. M. I. Finley, 1958. "Note," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 11(1), pages 97-97, August.
    10. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
    11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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