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Optimal monetary policy in a model with habit formation and explicit tax distortions

  • 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. This paper is a revised version of Working Paper 00-5,"Optimal Monetary Policy in a Model with Habit Formation."

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 01-06.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:01-06
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  1. Svensson, L-E-O, 1997. "Inflation Targeting : Some Extensions," Papers 625, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. 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.
  3. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-59, February.
  5. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Price Level Targeting vs Inflation Targeting : A free Lunch?," Papers 614, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  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. Nicoletta Batini & Anthony Yates, 2001. "Hybrid inflation and price level targeting," Bank of England working papers 135, Bank of England.
  8. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1152, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 1999. "Simplicity versus optimality the choice of monetary policy rules when agents must learn," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Svensson, Lars, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Seminar Papers 687, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  14. John C. Williams, 2003. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-12.
  15. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1997. "Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rome97-1.
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