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Price-level targeting and risk management in a low-inflation economy

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  • Roberto M. Billi

Abstract

With inflation and policy interest rates at historically low levels, policymakers show great concern about \\"downside tail risks\\" due to a zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. Low probability or tail events, such as sustained deflation or recession, are disruptive for the economy and can be difficult to resolve. This paper shows that price-level targeting mitigates downside tail risks respect to inflation targeting when policy is conducted through a simple interest-rate rule subject to a zero lower bound. Thus, price-level targeting is a more effective policy framework than inflation targeting for the management of downside tail risks in a low-inflation economy. At the same time, the average performance of the economy is not very different if policy implements price-level targeting instead of inflation targeting through a simple interest-rate rule. Price-level targeting may imply less variability of inflation than inflation targeting because policymakers can shape private-sector expectations about future inflation more effectively by targeting directly the price level path rather than inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberto M. Billi, 2008. "Price-level targeting and risk management in a low-inflation economy," Research Working Paper RWP 08-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp08-09
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    Cited by:

    1. Carl E. Walsh, 2011. "The Future of Inflation Targeting," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 87(s1), pages 23-36, September.
    2. Giannoni, Marc P., 2014. "Optimal interest-rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 110-129.
    3. Boneva, Lena & Harrison, Richard & Waldron, Matt, 2018. "Threshold-based forward guidance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 138-155.
    4. Cole, Stephen J., 2018. "The effectiveness of central bank forward guidance under inflation and price-level targeting," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 146-161.
    5. Marest, Luc & Thurston, Thom, 2018. "Measuring the value of central bank commitment in the benchmark New Keynesian model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 249-265.
    6. Colin Caines & Fabian Winkler, 2018. "Asset Price Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 1236, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Marc P. Giannoni, 2010. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules in a Forward-Looking Model, and Inflation Stabilization versus Price-Level Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 15986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sofía Bauducco & Rodrigo Caputo, 2010. "Price Level Targeting and Inflation Targeting: a Review," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 601, Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Yuting Bai, 2014. "Price level targeting with strategic fiscal policy and the value of fiscal leadership," Working Papers 66983487, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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