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Comments on backward-looking interest-rate rules, interest-rate smoothing, and macroeconomic instability


  • Charles T. Carlstrom
  • Timothy S. Fuerst


Benhabib, Schmitt-Grohe, and Uribe (2003) argue that if you relied solely on local analysis you would be led to believe that aggressive, backward-looking interest rate rules are sufficient for determinacy. But from the perspective of global analysis, backward-looking rules do not guarantee uniqueness of equilibrium and indeed may lead to cyclic and even chaotic equilibria. This comment argues that this result is premature. We utilize a discrete time model and make two observations. First, compared to their continuous time model, the cyclic equilibria under a backward-looking rule are much less likely to arise in a discrete time model. Second, pure backward-looking rules are less likely to suffer from these global indeterminacy problems than rules that also include current or future inflation.

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  • Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2003. "Comments on backward-looking interest-rate rules, interest-rate smoothing, and macroeconomic instability," Working Paper 0319, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0319

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
    2. Feenstra, Robert C., 1986. "Functional equivalence between liquidity costs and the utility of money," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 271-291, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schabert, Andreas & Stoltenberg, Christian, 2005. "Money Demand and Macroeconomic Stability Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 4974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    Interest rates ; Monetary policy;

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