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Monetary policy and price stability

Author

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  • Karen H. Johnson
  • David H. Small
  • Ralph W. Tryon

Abstract

This paper explores issues that arise in implementing monetary policy under conditions of sustained price stability. We discuss several issues that concern the selection of a central bank's inflation objective under such conditions: price measurement; the behavior of other key variables, particularly wages; and the possible existence of other channels through which low inflation could change relationships within the real economy. We present a framework for analyzing monetary policy reaction functions that can illuminate the choices facing policy makers in a regime of price stability. The zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is a potential constraint on monetary policy when nominal interest rates are low on average, which will tend to be the case when long-term inflation is low. We summarize the results of research done at the Federal Reserve to clarify these issues for the United States and consider the availability and effectiveness of alternative policy tools when the nominal interest rate is at the zero bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen H. Johnson & David H. Small & Ralph W. Tryon, 1999. "Monetary policy and price stability," International Finance Discussion Papers 641, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    2. Clouse James & Henderson Dale & Orphanides Athanasios & Small David H. & Tinsley P.A., 2003. "Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-65, September.
    3. Judson, Ruth & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "Inflation, Volatility and Growth," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 117-138, April.
    4. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Brian F. Madigan, 1997. "Monetary Policy When Interest Rates Are Bounded At Zero," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 573-585, November.
    5. 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.
    6. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
    7. Clark, Todd E, 1997. "Cross-country Evidence on Long-Run Growth and Inflation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 70-81, January.
    8. Robert J. Tetlow & John C. Williams, 1998. "Implementing price stability bands, boundaries and inflation targeting," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    9. Henderson, Dale W. & McKibbin, Warwick J., 1993. "A comparison of some basic monetary policy regimes for open economies: implications of different degrees of instrument adjustment and wage persistence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 221-317, December.
    10. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    11. Michael Sarel, 1996. "Nonlinear Effects of Inflation on Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 199-215, March.
    12. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
    13. 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.
    14. Summers, Lawrence, 1991. "How Should Long-Term Monetary Policy Be Determined? Panel Discussion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 625-631, August.
    15. David E. Lebow & David J. Stockton & William L. Wascher, 1995. "Inflation, nominal wage rigidity, and the efficiency of labor markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
    2. Mervyn A. King, 1999. "Challenges for monetary policy : new and old," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-57.
    3. Buiter, Willem H., 2003. "Deflation: Prevention and Cure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3869, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Günter Coenen & Volker W. Wieland, 2004. "Exchange-Rate Policy and the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 80-84, May.
    5. Clouse James & Henderson Dale & Orphanides Athanasios & Small David H. & Tinsley P.A., 2003. "Monetary Policy When the Nominal Short-Term Interest Rate is Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-65, September.
    6. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1071-1101, July.
    7. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
    8. Willem H. Buiter & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 1999. "Liquidity Traps: How to Avoid Them and How to Escape Them," NBER Working Papers 7245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lekgatlhamang Setlhare, 2004. "Bank Of Botswana'S Reaction Function: Modelling Botswana'S Monetary Policy Strategy," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(2), pages 384-406, June.
    10. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2004. "Exchange-rate policy and the zero bound on nominal interest rates," MPRA Paper 76687, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. C.A. Ullersma, 2001. "The Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates and Monetary Policy Effectiveness: a Survey," MEB Series (discontinued) 2001-9, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.

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    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; Inflation (Finance) ; Interest rates;

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