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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.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 00-5.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:00-5
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1.
  4. 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.
  5. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 1997-71, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," NBER Working Papers 5962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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 273-96, April.
  9. John C. Williams, 1999. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Price Level Targeting vs. Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Seminar Papers 614, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 219-39, March.
  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. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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