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Optimal monetary policy with state-dependent pricing

  • Anton Nakov
  • Carlos Thomas

In an abstract economic model, we study optimal monetary policy from the timeless perspective under a general state-dependent pricing framework. We find that when firms are monopolistic competitors subject to idiosyncratic menu cost shocks, households have isoelastic preferences, and there is no government spending, strict price stability is optimal both in the long run and in response to aggregate shocks. Key to this finding is an "envelope" property: At zero inflation, a marginal increase in the rate of inflation has no effect on firms' profits and therefore it has no effect on the probability of price adjustment. Our results lend support to more informal statements about the suitability of the Calvo model for studying optimal monetary policy despite its apparent conflict with the Lucas critique. We offer an analytic solution that does not require local approximation or efficiency of the steady state.

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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 2011-48.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2011-48
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  1. Denny Lie, 2009. "State-dependent pricing and optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 09-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nakov, Anton & Thomas, Carlos, 2010. "Optimal monetary policy with state-dependent pricing," Working Paper Series 1250, European Central Bank.
  4. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Woodford & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," 2004 Meeting Papers 481, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Reiter, Michael, 2009. "Solving heterogeneous-agent models by projection and perturbation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 649-665, March.
  7. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2005. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 11043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Tack Yun, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Relative Price Distortions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 89-109, March.
  9. Virgiliu Midrigan, 2011. "Menu Costs, Multiproduct Firms, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1139-1180, 07.
  10. Bakhshi, Hasan & Khan, Hashmat & Rudolf, Barbara, 2007. "The Phillips curve under state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2321-2345, November.
  11. James Costain & Anton Nakov, 2011. "Price Adjustments in a General Model of State‐Dependent Pricing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 385-406, 03.
  12. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464, November.
  13. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "State-Dependent Pricing And The General Equilibrium Dynamics Of Money And Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 655-690, May.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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