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Timeless perspective policymaking: When is discretion superior?

  • Richard Dennis

In this paper I show that discretionary policymaking can be superior to timeless perspective policymaking and identify model features that make this outcome more likely. Developing a measure of conditional loss that treats the auxiliary state variables that characterize the timeless perspective equilibrium appropriately, I use a New Keynesian DSGE model to show that discretion can dominate timeless perspective policymaking when the Phillips curve is relatively flat, due, perhaps, to firm-specific capital (or labor) and/or Kimball (1995) aggregation in combination with nominal price rigidity. These results suggest that studies applying the timeless perspective might also usefully compare its performance to discretion, paying careful attention to how policy performance is evaluated.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008-21.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2008-21
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  8. Christian Jensen & Bennett C. McCallum, 2002. "The Non-Optimality of Proposed Monetary Policy Rules Under Timeless-Perspective Commitment," NBER Working Papers 8882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Richard Dennis, 2003. "Inferring policy objectives from economic outcomes," Working Paper Series 2003-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Levin, Andrew T. & David López-Salido, J. & Nelson, Edward & Yun, Tack, 2008. "Macroeconometric equivalence, microeconomic dissonance, and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S48-S62, October.
  11. 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.).
  12. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy: A Linear-Quadratic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 271-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Working Papers 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  19. Christopher A. Sims & Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim, 2003. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solution of Discrete Time Dynamic Equilibrium Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 162, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Gilles Oudiz & Jeffrey Sachs, 1985. "International Policy Coordination in Dynamic Macroeconomic Models," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Policy Coordination, pages 274-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Michel Juillard & Florian Pelgrin, 2007. "Computing Optimal Policy in a Timeless-Perspective: An Application to a Small-Open Economy," Working Papers 07-32, Bank of Canada.
  23. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  24. Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 2007. "Estimating the frequency of price re-optimization in Calvo-style models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2032-2047, October.
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