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The welfare consequences of monetary policy

  • Federico Ravenna
  • Carl E. Walsh

We explore the distortions in business cycle models arising from inefficiencies in price setting and in the search process matching firms to unemployed workers, and the implications of these distortions for monetary policy. To this end, we characterize the tax instruments that would implement the first best equilibrium allocations and then examine the trade-offs faced by monetary policy when these tax instruments are unavailable. Our findings are that the welfare cost of search inefficiency can be large, but the incentive for policy to deviate from the inefficient flexible-price allocation is in general small. Sizable welfare gains are available if the steady state of the economy is inefficient, and these gains do not depend on the existence of an inefficient dispersion of wages. Finally, the gains from deviating from price stability are larger in economies with more volatile labor flows, as in the U.S.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2009-12.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-12
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  1. Christoffel, Kai & Linzert, Tobias, 2006. "The role of real wage rigidity and labor market frictions for unemployment and inflation dynamics," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,11, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  2. Faia, Ester, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy rules with labor market frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1600-1621, May.
  3. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2007. "Vacancies, Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," Kiel Working Papers 1362, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Thomas Lubik & Michael Krause, 2003. "The (Ir)relevance of Real Wage Rigidity in the New Keynesian Model with Search Frictions," Economics Working Paper Archive 504, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
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  7. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  8. Aubhik Khan & Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2002. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 02-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations With Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 12498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2004. "The Consequences of Rigid Wages in Search Models," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 469-479, 04/05.
  11. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  12. Régis Barnichon, 2007. "The Shimer Puzzle and the Correct Identification of Productivity Shocks," CEP Discussion Papers dp0823, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2006. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale macroeconomic model," Working Paper Series 0612, European Central Bank.
  14. Walsh, Carl E., 2003. "Labor Market Search, Sticky Prices, and Interest Rate Policies," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6tg550dv, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  15. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Linear-Quadratic Approximation of Optimal Policy Problems," NBER Working Papers 12672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bernardino Ad�o & Isabel Correia & Pedro Teles, 2003. "Gaps and Triangles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 699-713.
  17. Mortensen, Dale T, 1970. "Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 847-62, December.
  18. Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
  19. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2007. "A New Keynesian Model with Unemployment," Kiel Working Papers 1335, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  20. Carlos Thomas, 2006. "Search and matching frictions and optimal monetary policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19782, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  22. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John C. Williams & Noah Williams, 2005. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Working Papers 11523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Arseneau, David M. & Chugh, Sanjay K., 2008. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with costly wage bargaining," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1401-1414, November.
  24. Cooley, Thomas F. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 1999. "A neoclassical model of the Phillips curve relation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 165-193, October.
  25. Bernardino Adao, 2000. "Gaps and Triangles," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1904, Econometric Society.
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  27. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
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