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Optimal monetary policy with durable and non-durable goods

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  • Christopher J. Erceg
  • Andrew T. Levin

Abstract

The durable goods sector is much more interest sensitive than the non-durables sector, and these sectoral differences have important implications for monetary policy. In this paper, we perform VAR analysis of quarterly US data and find that a monetary policy innovation has a peak impact on durable expenditures that is roughly five times as large as its impact on non-durable expenditures. We then proceed to formulate and calibrate a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model that roughly matches the impulse response functions of the data. While the social welfare function involves sector-specific output gaps and inflation rates, we find that performance of the optimal policy rule can be closely approximated by a very simple rule that targets a weighted average of aggregate wage and price inflation rates. In contrast, some commonly-prescribed policy rules (such as strict price inflation targeting and Taylor's rule) perform very poorly in terms of social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2002. "Optimal monetary policy with durable and non-durable goods," International Finance Discussion Papers 748, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:748
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy; Durable goods; Consumer;
    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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