IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal monetary policy in a model with habit formation


  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer


A number of recent papers have explored monetary policy options, including inflation targeting and inflation forecast targeting (notably Svensson (1999a, 1999b, 2000)) and price level targeting (Wolman 2000, Batini and Yates 1999, Blinder 1999). Most papers explore "optimal" monetary policy in the context of a single model. However, a number of conclusions made in the literature depend strongly on the model specification used. In addition, most papers have used the efficient policy frontier concept to define optimal monetary policy. This paper investigates the behavior of a variety of small structural macro models under a variety of targeting rules. The paper examines both minimum variance policy frontiers and utility-maximizing policy. In the latter case, an explicit model of consumer behavior with inflation-induced tax distortions is explored. The paper examines the improvement in utility from an optimal price-level target and re-examines the improvement in utility in moving from a positive to a zero target inflation rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in a model with habit formation," Working Papers 00-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:00-5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Price Level Targeting vs. Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," NBER Working Papers 5719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1, January.
    3. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
    4. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-239, March.
    5. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-296, April.
    6. Tetlow, Robert J. & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Simplicity versus optimality: The choice of monetary policy rules when agents must learn," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 245-279, January.
    7. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 296-316, August.
    9. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. " Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(3), pages 337-361, September.
    11. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. John C. Williams, 2003. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-12.
    13. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    14. Martin S. Feldstein, 1997. "The Costs and Benefits of Going from Low Inflation to Price Stability," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 123-166 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
    16. Batini, Nicoletta & Yates, Anthony, 2003. " Hybrid Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 283-300, June.
    17. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
    18. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
    2. Ignazio Angeloni & Gunter Coenen & Frank Smets, 2003. "Persistence, The Transmission Mechanism And Robust Monetary Policy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 527-549, November.
    3. Qin, Li & Sidiropoulos, Moïse & Spyromitros, Eleftherios, 2013. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty and inflation persistence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 721-728.
    4. Richard Dennis, 2003. "New Keynesian optimal-policy models: an empirical assessment," Working Paper Series 2003-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    5. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "Monetary policy in an estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the Euro area," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    6. Jean-Paul Lam & Greg Tkacz, 2004. "Estimating Policy-Neutral Interest Rates for Canada Using a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Framework," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(I), pages 89-126, March.
    7. Brian Micallef & Cyrus, Laurent, 2013. "Inflation differentials in a Monetary Union: the case of Malta," CBM Working Papers WP/05/2013, Central Bank of Malta.
    8. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
    9. Richard Dennis, 2004. "Specifying and estimating New Keynesian models with instrument rules and optimal monetary policies," Working Paper Series 2004-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Raf Wouters & Frank Smets, 2005. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 161-183.
    11. Surach Tanboon, 2008. "The Bank of Thailand Structural Model for Policy Analysis," Working Papers 2008-06, Monetary Policy Group, Bank of Thailand.
    12. Richard Dennis, 2006. "The frequency of price adjustment and New Keynesian business cycle dynamics," Working Paper Series 2006-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    13. Zhigang Huang, 2010. "Monetary policy and trade imbalance adjustment," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 269-292.
    14. Daniel Gaskin & Juergen Attard & Karen Caruana, 2017. "Household finance and consumption survey in Malta: the results from the second Wave," CBM Working Papers WP/02/2017, Central Bank of Malta.
    15. Surach Tanboon & Suchot Piamchol & Tanawat Ruenbanterng & Paiboon Pongpaichet, 2009. "Impacts of Financial Factors on Thailand's Business Cycle Fluctuations," Working Papers 2009-01, Monetary Policy Group, Bank of Thailand.
    16. Urban Jermann, 2002. "EconomicDynamics Interviews Urban Jermann on Asset Pricing," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(2), April.
    17. Siok Kun, Sek, 2009. "The impacts of economic structures on the performance of simple policy rules in a small open economy," MPRA Paper 25065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Minford, Patrick & Nowell, Eric & Sofat, Prakriti & Srinivasan, Naveen, 2006. "UK Inflation Persistence: Policy or Nature?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Caraiani, Petre, 2007. "An Estimated New Keynesian Model for Romania," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 4(4), pages 114-123, December.
    20. Ramzi Drissi, 2014. "Robust Monetary Policy in An Uncertain Economic Environment: Evidence from Tunisian Economy," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(7), pages 969-986, July.

    More about this item


    Monetary policy ; Interest rates ; Consumer behavior;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:00-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.