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Controlling inflation after Bretton Woods: an analysis based on policy objectives

  • William T. Gavin

This paper reviews the inflation experience in the post-Bretton Woods era in the context of alternative central bankobjectives. It summarizes research on inflation-targeting issues, especially those associated with stabilizing the price level. Generally, inflation-targeting schemes do not provide a nominal anchor unless the central bank is focusing strictly on theinflation target and ignoring unemployment and the business cycle. Research summarized in this article suggests that themost important step a central bank can take to improve policy is to decide on a long-term path for the price level. Being explicit about the desired path for the price level not only reduces inflation variability at all horizons, but also gives the policymaker more flexibility to pursue output stabilization goals.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2000-007.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Publication status: Published in Inflation Targeting in Transition Economics: The Case of the Czech Republic. Czech National Bank and International Monetary Fund (Chapter 3)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2000-007
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  1. Clarida, R. & Gertler, M., 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," Working Papers 96-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  3. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, `Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," NBER Working Papers 5251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  5. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1997. "Inflation targeting: lessons from four countries," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Aug, pages 9-110.
  7. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Price Level Targeting vs Inflation Targeting : A free Lunch?," Papers 614, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1998. "Policy rules and targets: framing the central banker's problem," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 1-14.
  9. Robert Dittmar & William T. Gavin, 1999. "What do New-Keynesian Phillips Curves imply for price level targeting?," Working Papers 1999-021, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  10. John C. Williams, 2003. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-12.
  11. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "Policymakers' revealed preferences and the output-inflation variability trade-off: implications for the European system of central banks," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
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