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Pre-commitment, the timeless perspective, and policymaking from behind a veil of uncertainty

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  • Richard Dennis

Abstract

Woodford (1999) develops the notion of a "timelessly optimal" pre-commitment policy. This paper uses a simple business cycle model to illustrate this notion. We show that timelessly optimal policies are not unique and that they are not necessarily better than the time-consistent solution. Further, we describe a method for constructing optimal pre-commitment rules in an environment where the policymaker does not know the initial state of the economy. This latter solution is useful for characterizing the benefits policymakers extract through exploiting initial conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Dennis, 2001. "Pre-commitment, the timeless perspective, and policymaking from behind a veil of uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2001-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2001-19
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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp01-19bk.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Timeless perspective vs. discretionary monetary policy in forward-looking models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 43-56.
    2. Currie,David & Levine,Paul, 2009. "Rules, Reputation and Macroeconomic Policy Coordination," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521104609, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Walsh, 2003. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 265-278, March.
    2. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 19-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
    4. McCallum, Bennett T., 2015. "Nominal GDP targeting: Policy rule or discretionary splurge?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 76-80.
    5. Marina Azzimonti-Renzo & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Jorge Soares, 2003. "Optimal public investment with and without government commitment," Working Paper 03-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    6. Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "A primer on optimal monetary policy with staggered price-setting," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 27-52.

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    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; Business cycles;

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