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Learning about monetary policy rules

Listed author(s):
  • James B. Bullard
  • Kaushik Mitra

We study macroeconomic systems with forward-looking private sector agents and a monetary authority that is trying to control the economy through the use of a linear policy feedback rule. A typical finding in the burgeoning literature in this area is that policymakers should be relatively aggressive in responding to available information about the macroeconomy (more aggressive than they appear to be in reality). A natural question to ask about this result is whether policy responses which are too aggressive might actually destabilize the economy. We use stability under recursive learning a la Evans and Honkapohja 1999a as a criterion for evaluating monetary policy rules in this context. We find that considering learning can substantially alter the evaluation of model economies in some situations. We also find that a certain type of rule is robustly associated with both determinacy and learnability. This is an active, Taylor-type rule, with only a small positive reaction to variables other than inflation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2000-001.

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Date of creation: 2002
Publication status: Published in Journal of Monetary Economics, September 2002, 49(6), pp. 1105-29
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2000-001
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  1. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. McCallum, Bennett T., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice: two critical points : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-220, December.
  3. Svensson, Lars, 1999. "How Should Monetary Policy Be Conducted in an Era of Price Stability," Seminar Papers 680, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Nicoletta Batini & Andrew G Haldane, 1999. "Forward-looking rules for monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 91, Bank of England.
  5. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages -.
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  8. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-1322, December.
  9. GRANDMONT, Jean-Michel, 1997. "Expectations formation and stability of large socioeconomic systems," CORE Discussion Papers 1997088, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of operational policy rules in an estimated semi-classical structural model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar, pages -.
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  14. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824.
  15. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
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  18. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2001. "Timing and real indeterminacy in monetary models," Working Paper 9910R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  19. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Michael T. Kiley, 1998. "Monetary policy under neoclassical and New-Keynesian Phillips Curves, with an application to price level and inflation targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  21. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  22. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Expectations, credibility, and time-consistent monetary policy," Working Paper 9812, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  23. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  24. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1991. "The Lucas Critique, Policy Invariance and Multiple Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 321-332.
  25. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038.
  26. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1993. "Learning, experimentation, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 169-183, August.
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  29. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 1999. "Taylor rules in a limited participation model," Working Paper Series WP-99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  31. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  32. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2000. "Forward-looking versus backward-looking Taylor rules," Working Paper 0009, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  33. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1994. "Learning, convergence, and stability with multiple rational expectations equilibria," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1071-1098, May.
  35. Howitt, Peter, 1992. "Interest Rate Control and Nonconvergence to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 776-800, August.
  36. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
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  39. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1999. "Learning dynamics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 449-542 Elsevier.
  40. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
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