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Monetary policy with imperfect knowledge

  • Athanasios Orphanides
  • John C. Williams

We examine the performance and robustness of monetary policy rules when the central bank and the public have imperfect knowledge of the economy and continuously update their estimates of model parameters. We find that versions of the Taylor rule calibrated to perform well under rational expectations with perfect knowledge perform very poorly when agents are learning and the central bank faces uncertainty regarding natural rates. In contrast, difference rules, in which the change in the interest rate is determined by the inflation rate and the change in the unemployment rate, perform well when knowledge is both perfect and imperfect.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005-17.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2005-17
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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Inflation targeting under imperfect knowledge," Working Paper Series 2006-14, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. John C. Williams, 2005. "Robust estimation and monetary policy with unobserved structural change," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), pages 53-81.
  4. John C. Williams & Athanasios Orphanides, 2004. "The Decline of Activist Stabilization Policy: Natural Rate Misperceptions, Learning, and Expectations," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 144, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2002-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Working Paper Series 2003-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
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