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The Optimal Inflation Rate with Discount Factor Heterogeneity

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Abstract

This paper shows that deviations from long-run price stability are optimal in the presence of price stickiness whenever profit and utility flows are discounted at a different rate. In that case, a monetary authority acting under commitment will choose a path for the inflation rate that ends with a non-zero value. Such a property is relevant in a wide range of macroeconomic environments. I first illustrate this by studying optimal monetary policy in a New Keynesian model with a perpetual youth structure. In this setting, profit flows are discounted more heavily than utility flows and the optimal inflation target is equal to 3.2 percent in a baseline calibration of the model. I also show that this property leads to a positive long-run inflation rate in models with firm entry and exit and in environments with search and matching frictions in the labor market and another form of nominal rigidity, wage stickiness.

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  • Antoine Lepetit, 2018. "The Optimal Inflation Rate with Discount Factor Heterogeneity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-086, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2018-86
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2018.086
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    Cited by:

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    2. Philippe Andrade & Jordi Galí & Hervé Le Bihan & Julien Matheron, 2017. "The optimal inflation target and the natural rate of interest," Economics Working Papers 1591, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2019.
    3. Christopher D. Cotton, 2020. "The Inflation Target and the Equilibrium Real Rate," Working Papers 20-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    4. Ippei Fujiwara & Shunsuke Hori & Yuichiro Waki, 2019. "Generational War on Inflation: Optimal Inflation Rates for the Young and the Old," Globalization Institute Working Papers 372, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    5. Volker Hahn, 2022. "Price Dispersion and the Costs of Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 54(2-3), pages 459-491, March.
    6. Alfredo García-Hiernaux & María T. González-Pérez & David E. Guerrero, 2020. "Eurozone prices: a tale of convergence and divergence," Working Papers 2010, Banco de España.
    7. Cecion, Martina & Coenen, Günter & Gerke, Rafael & Le Bihan, Hervé & Motto, Roberto & Aguilar, Pablo & Ajevskis, Viktors & Giesen, Sebastian & Albertazzi, Ugo & Gilbert, Niels & Al-Haschimi, Alexander, 2021. "The ECB’s price stability framework: past experience, and current and future challenges," Occasional Paper Series 269, European Central Bank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Discount factor heterogeneity; Inflation target; optimal inflation rates; Optimal monetary policy; Perpetual youth; Sticky prices;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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