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Can U.S. monetary policy fall (again) into an expectation trap?

  • Roc Armenter
  • Martin Bodenstein

We provide a tractable model to study monetary policy under discretion. We restrict our analysis to Markov equilibria. We find that for all parametrizations with an equilibrium inflation rate of about 2 percent, there is a second equilibrium with an inflation rate just above 10 percent. Thus, the model can simultaneously account for the low and high inflation episodes in the United States. We carefully characterize the set of Markov equilibria along the parameter space and find our results to be robust, suggesting that expectation traps are more than just a theoretical curiosity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 229.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:229
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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S176-S215, June.
  5. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2001. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25046, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort: Was Bagehot Right After All?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3233, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," International Finance Discussion Papers 676, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Roc Armenter & Martin Bodenstein, 2005. "Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?," Staff Reports 230, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/22, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 1995. "Recurrent hyperinflations and learning," Economics Working Papers 244, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2001.
  12. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, . "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 198, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  14. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  15. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  16. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  17. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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