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Welfare-maximizing monetary policy under parameter uncertainty

Listed author(s):
  • Rochelle M. Edge
  • Thomas Laubach
  • John C. Williams

This paper examines welfare-maximizing monetary policy in an estimated micro-founded general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy where the policymaker faces uncertainty about model parameters. Uncertainty about parameters describing preferences and technology implies not only uncertainty about the dynamics of the economy. It also implies uncertainty about the model's utility-based welfare criterion and about the economy's natural rate measures of interest and output. We analyze the characteristics and performance of alternative monetary policy rules given the estimated uncertainty regarding parameter estimates. We find that the natural rates of interest and output are imprecisely estimated. We then show that, relative to the case of known parameters, optimal policy under parameter uncertainty responds less to natural-rate terms and more to other variables, such as price and wage inflation and measures of tightness or slack that do not depend on natural rates.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-56.

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Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-56
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  1. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Fabio Canova & Luca Sala, 2006. "Back to Square One: Identification Issues in DSGE Models," Working Papers 303, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2010. "Welfare-maximizing monetary policy under parameter uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 129-143.
  8. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
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  12. Matthew D. Shapiro & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Ramey, Valerie A & Francis, Neville, 2002. "Is The Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead? Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations Revisted," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6x80k3nx, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
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  16. Dixon, Huw & Kara, Engin, 2006. "How to Compare Taylor and Calvo Contracts: A Comment on Michael Kiley," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 1119-1126, June.
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  18. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2005. "Monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Hall, Alastair R. & Inoue, Atsushi & Nason, James M. & Rossi, Barbara, 2012. "Information criteria for impulse response function matching estimation of DSGE models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 170(2), pages 499-518.
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  23. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "Is the Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead?," NBER Working Papers 8726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
  28. Galí, Jordi, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  37. Kosuke Aoki & Kalin Nikolov, 2004. "Rule-based monetary policy under central bank learning," Bank of England working papers 235, Bank of England.
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