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Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency

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  • Francesco Bianchi
  • Leonardo Melosi

Abstract

We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model to quantitatively assess the effects and welfare implications of central bank transparency. Monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents conduct Bayesian learning about the nature of these deviations. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur, agents? uncertainty about the macroeconomy remains contained, and welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, uncertainty accelerates and welfare declines. Announcing the future policy course raises uncertainty in the short run by revealing that active inflation stabilization will be temporarily abandoned. However, this announcement reduces policy uncertainty and anchors inflationary beliefs at the end of the policy. For the U.S., enhancing transparency is found to increase welfare. The same result is found when we relax the assumption of perfectly credible announcements.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2016. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," Working Paper Series WP-2016-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2016-15
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    Cited by:

    1. Ippei Fujiwara & Yuichiro Waki, 2015. "Private news and monetary policy forward guidance or (the expected virtue of ignorance)," Globalization Institute Working Papers 238, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Francesco Bianchi & Cosmin Ilut, 2017. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agent's Beliefs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 113-139, October.
    3. Philippe Andrade & Gaetano Gaballo & Eric Mengus & Benoît Mojon, 2019. "Forward Guidance and Heterogeneous Beliefs," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 1-29, July.
    4. Ehrmann, Michael & Gaballo, Gaetano & Hoffmann, Peter & Strasser, Georg, 2019. "Can more public information raise uncertainty? The international evidence on forward guidance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 93-112.
    5. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2016. "Modeling The Evolution Of Expectations And Uncertainty In General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 717-756, May.
    6. K. Istrefi & A. Piloiu, 2016. "Economic policy uncertainty and inflation expectations," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 33, november..
    7. Istrefi, Klodiana & Mouabbi, Sarah, 2018. "Subjective interest rate uncertainty and the macroeconomy: A cross-country analysis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 296-313.
    8. Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Signaling Effects of Monteray Policy," 2014 Meeting Papers 830, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Michael Ehrmann, 2015. "Targeting Inflation from Below: How Do Inflation Expectations Behave?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 213-249, September.
    10. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2016. "First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1645-1672.
    11. Bianchi, Francesco, 2016. "Methods for measuring expectations and uncertainty in Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 190(1), pages 79-99.
    12. Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Signalling Effects of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 853-884.
    13. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-46.
    14. Levieuge, Grégory & Lucotte, Yannick & Pradines-Jobet, Florian, 2021. "The cost of banking crises: Does the policy framework matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 110(C).
    15. Xin Wei, 2020. "Dynamic Expectations Formation and U.S. Monetary Policy Regime Change," CAEPR Working Papers 2020-007, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Department of Economics, Indiana University Bloomington.
    16. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli & Gaia Rubera, 2020. "Tweeting on Monetary Policy and Market Sentiments: The Central Bank Surprise Index," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20134, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    17. Christian Matthes, 2015. "Figuring Out the Fed—Beliefs about Policymakers and Gains from Transparency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 1-29, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Policy announcement; Bayesian learning; reputation; forward guidance; macroeco-nomic risk; uncertainty; inflation expectations; Markov-switching models; likelihood estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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